Diary of a Foodie

Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls "Penny Style"

Diary of a Foodie: Season Two: North Carolina: BBQ and Beyond

  • Active Time:45 min
  • Start to Finish:1 day
January 2008

For Chicken and Broth:

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, coarsely chopped, plus 2 medium, finely diced
  • 2 large celery ribs, coarsely chopped, plus 2 medium, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 (3-lb) organic chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
  • 1 pinch whole peppercorns
  • 3 1/2 quarts water

For Matzo Balls:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup unsalted matzo meal
  • 1/4 cup seltzer water
  • 3 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (preferably Tony Chachere's)

Make Chicken and Broth:

  • Combine onion, coarsely chopped carrots and celery, garlic, chicken, peppercorns, and water in a 6-quart pot. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 3 hours.
  • Cool soup to room temperature, uncovered. Strain through a colander. Coarsely shred chicken, discarding skin and bones, and chill chicken and broth separately, covered. Discard vegetables.

Make Matzo Balls:

  • Lightly beat eggs, then stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Chill, covered, 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a 6-quart pot of salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 4 quarts water) to a simmer.
  • Scoop rounded tablespoons matzo mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and add to water 1 at a time, then simmer, covered, 20 minutes (do not lift lid while cooking).

Finish Soup while Matzo Balls Simmer:

  • Discard fat from chilled chicken broth. Simmer broth in a 4-quart pot with diced carrot and celery, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in chicken and salt to taste.
  • Transfer matzo balls to soup bowls with a slotted spoon and ladle soup over them.
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