Chicken soup with matza balls for Passover and Rosh Hashanah
A beautiful and delicious dish, whose quantities can be increased for more diners.
A beautiful and delicious dish, whose quantities can be increased for more diners. You'll need an entire chicken, without the bones (ask the butcher to take it apart). The meat of the breast and thighs, which will be used for the matza balls, must be ground once. The bones, the wings and the neck will be used for soup.
Ingredients (serves 6-8):
3 garlic cloves
a small bunch of parsley
a small bunch of chives
6 sprigs of thyme
3 stalks of celery (without the leaves, which can be used to garnish the soup)
1 tsp. black peppercorns
3 tbsp. matza meal
1 tbsp. cooking oil
a dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup rice
About 20 "unborn" egg yolks (These are available at any central city market, where they're called eilach; they actually come from the ovary of the chicken. You will need 2-3 yolks per person. Anyone who cannot get to the marketplace can use the yolks of a hard-boiled egg, in the last stage of the recipe.)
Place the chicken bones, wings and neck in a medium-sized pot; add onion, garlic, parsley, chives, thyme, celery, peppercorns and a generous amount of water to cover everything (1.5-2 liters). Bring to a boil, lower the flame to a minimum and cook for 1 1/2 hours in a closed pot. Add salt to taste. Strain the soup. Toss out the vegetables. Remove the remaining meat from the skeleton, the wings and the neck. Return the meat to the soup (this can be done a day in advance).
For the kneidlach: While the soup is cooking, in a bowl beat the egg into a light-colored foam. Add matza meal, oil and 1 tbsp. water, and mix. Add the ground chicken, a little salt and nutmeg; mix. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for half an hour. Remove from the refrigerator and check the mixture. It should be easy to work with (for forming small balls). If it's too liquid, add a little matza meal, mix and return to the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Right before the meal bring the soup to a boil. With wet hands form small balls from the matza meal mixture (something like large marble size); place them in the soup as you make them. Add the rice to the soup. Bring to a boil, lower the flame and cook for 10 minutes. Add the egg yolks, bring to a boil again and cook for another 3-5 minutes (depending on the size of the yolks). Chop the celery leaves, add to the soup and serve.