Total Time: 2 hrs 45 mins Prep Time: 45 mins Cook Time: 2 hrs Servings: 4-6
Ingredients: (note: if you use the Tabatchnick it is very salty so taste the soup BEFORE adding more salt)
4 chicken thighs
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves
salt (or Garlic Salt)
1 32 oz. Tabatchnick Classic Whole Chicken Broth
1 to 2 tbs to taste Osem Consommé
Chopped parsley to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch sugar
2 tablespoons seltzer water
1. Make the matzo mixture first because it has to be chilled in the refrigerator for as long as possible. I basically used the recipe on the Manischewitz box container but substitute olive oil for vegetable oil. Traditionally they're supposed to be made with schmaltz. You could use seltzer water because it is said that it makes the matzo balls lighter.
2. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl, adding the seltzer last and more lightly with your hands until uniform. Don't worry that it looks too runny because it will firm up in the refrigerator. Cover and refrigerate while you make the soup.
3. Put chicken thighs in a pot and add water until the chicken is submerged plus about 2 more inches of water. Bring to a boil then, simmer for 30 minutes. (A double boiler works very well for this as it makes it easy to remove chicken, but if you do not have one a colander or spoon will work as well).
4. Meanwhile, chop the onion, chop one carrot and one stalk of celery into inch wide or smaller pieces, and crush the garlic (or just slice everything; it was easier and added more consistency to the soup).
5. Skim the top of the stock with a wire mesh spoon if necessary. Add the onion, garlic and big (or all) vegetable pieces along with 1 tbsp. salt (see note). Cover and simmer for an hour.
6. Bring a pot of water and a little salt to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Fill a shallow bowl with cold water. Take out the matzo meal and form into balls with a tablespoon and your hands. Make sure to dip your hands and the spoon in the water between every ball. Drop each of the balls into the water then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. The matzo balls should expand about to about 1 1/2 times their original size; I made six from the mixture.
7. Remove the chicken from the pot and strain the soup. Return the broth to the pot and add the onion, carrots and celery. (No need to strain it. Leave all the vegetables in the broth for added flavor) Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender.
8. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the chicken and tear the meat into shreds. Add the chicken shreds back into the soup and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and taste. Add the pepper and more salt if necessary.
9. Test the matzo balls with a fork. You should be able to insert the fork without feeling any change in pressure within. Transfer the balls to the soup pot with either a slotted spoon or tongs. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes so the matzo balls can absorb the flavor. Reheat if necessary.
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