1 4-5 pound chicken, preferably kosher*
water just to cover chicken (approximately 12-14 cups)
2 large stalks of celery with a few leaves
2 large carrots,- cut into 3-inch chunks
2 parsnips, scraped and cut in chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
1/3 cup parsley, finely minced
4 good sprigs fresh dill, broken in half
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
Kosher salt and (more) ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chicken soup or water
1/3 cup oil
1 cup matzoh meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
Place chicken in a large soup or stock pot. Cover with cold water that should just cover top of chicken.
Bring water to a boil, skimming off any foam that forms. Reduce to a medium simmer, add vegetables, salt and pepper. Cover partially and simmer for 2-3 hours. When the soup is done, let it cool until you can strain it. Strain off everything but the soup. Save choice chicken pieces for chicken salad filling or chicken for pot pie. Replace the strained off (cooked) vegetables with 1-2 cups fresh diced carrots, 1/2 cup and a bit more minced parsley. The fresh vegetables are to be eaten in the soup as it simmers (whereas the discarded ones were used to flavor the soup, i.e. they did their duty for the cause). Cool and refrigerate the soup overnight.
The next day,remove or skim off the fat and warm up the soup while making the matzoh balls.
For the Matzoh Balls, in a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the chicken soup and oil to blend. Add remaining ingredients. Add salt and/or pepper to taste. Mixture should be somewhat salty. Once boiled, the balls will be blander.
Refrigerate mixture one hour.
Fill a Dutch oven with water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Scoop spoonfuls of matzoh ball mixture and drop into boiling water. Reduce heat, cover pot and let dumplings simmer on low about 30 minutes.
Gently remove matzoh balls from water and drain. Place into chicken soup. Serve 1 or 2 matzoh balls per bowl.
* Kosher chicken is the secret ingredient to great chicken soup. t has that je-ne-sais-quoi that results in chicken soup with the 'ah' response. People take one sip and they go 'ah'. If you do not have kosher chicken around, add in an extra package of chicken wings or legs for more flavor.
Kosher salt is iodine free - and is pure salt - the best for cooking and baking. If you cannot find it, use sea salt. Matzoh balls are dumplings made of matzoh meal. You can make regular dumplings with flour OR, use ground up soda crackers (non salted tops) to replace the matzoh meal. OR, use cooked egg noodles in your soup.
To make the soup, rinse the chicken well.
This recipe also appears in my cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and the Newish Jewish Cookbook
Both on Amazon and wherever you order books (your local indie bookstore can order my books too!)