A favorite Jewish dish, Matzo Ball Soup is traditionally served at Passover. Plan to make the matzo balls while the chicken broth simmers.
1 (3 lbs) chicken, cut up or whole
1 lb. chicken backs, necks, wings, and giblets (plus any extra on hand to enhance the flavor)
4 1/2 quarts water, or water to cover
2 cloves of garlic
2 onions, chopped
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 T. finely minced parsley
1 carrot, sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 T. chicken flavored bouillon granules
8 black peppercorns Matzo Balls (see recipe, below)
Additional parsley (optional)
Additional carrot slices (optional)
Combine first 12 ingredients in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, skimming off foam that rises to the surface. Cover, and continue to simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Cool, and strain, reserving broth for soup. (Reserve chicken for chicken salad or another use.) Return broth to Dutch oven, and simmer over low heat. Carefully drop in cooked mazto balls, and heat for about 15 minutes, or until hot. Garnish with parsley and carrot slices, if desired. Serves 4-6.
3/4 c. chicken fat (ask your butcher for this ingredient)
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 c. plus 1 T. mazto meal
1 T. minced parsley
Lightly salted water
Render chicken fat by frying it in a skillet until it yields 1/2 c. rendered fat (discard remaining solids); cool fat, and combine with eggs. Set aside. Combine nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, and mazto meal; add to egg mixture, and mix well. Stir in parsley. Cover, and refrigerate mixture for several hours.
Dip out dough with teaspoon, and roll into small balls about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Set aside. Heat lightly salted water in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil, and reduce heat. Drop in mazto balls, and simmer for 1 hour. Carefully remove matzo balls, and reserve to heat in chicken broth. Yields: 24-26 balls.
From the March 1997 issue.