Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls

Chicken soup and Matzo balls from New York's Second Avenue Deli. CBS

Recipes reprinted courtesy of "The 2nd Ave. Deli Cookbook" by Sharon Lebewohl, Rena Bulkin and Jack Lebewohl (Villard).


Chicken Soup
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 pound chicken parts
2 stalks celery, including leafy tops, cut into 3" pieces
1 whole chicken, thoroughly rinsed
Salt to rub inside chicken
1 large whole onion, unpeeled (find one with a firm, golden-brown peel)
1 large whole carrot, peeled
1 medium whole parsnip, peeled
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch of dill, cleaned and tied with string

Note: The Deli's recipe calls for both a whole chicken plus 1 pound of chicken parts. You can, however, use just 1 large chicken and cut off both wings, the neck, and a leg to use as parts.

1. Pour 12 cups of cold water into a large stockpot, and throw in the chicken parts and celery. Bring to a boil. While water is heating, rub the inside of the whole chicken with salt.

2. Add the chicken to the pot, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Test chicken with a fork to see if it's tender and fully cooked; then remove it from the pot, and set aside on a large platter. Leave chicken parts in the pot.

3. Add onion, carrot, parsnip, salt, and pepper. Let soup simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

4. When chicken cools, remove skin and bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. You can add it to the soup, just before serving, or save it for chicken salad.

5. Strain the soup, and discard everything solid except the carrot.

6. Drop in the dill for a minute before serving and remove. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slice carrot and toss into soup. Also add the chicken pieces if desired. Other options: Add cooked noodles, rice, kasha, or matzo balls.


Matzo Balls
Makes 12 to 14

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon salt
4 large eggs
1/3 cup schmaltz (rendered pork, chicken or goose fat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/3 cup matzo meal

1. Fill a large, wide stockpot three-quarters full of water, add tablespoon of salt, and bring to a rapid boil.

2. While water is boiling, crack eggs into a large bowl and beat thoroughly. Beat in schmaltz, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and baking powder. Slowly fold in matzo meal, mixing vigorously until completely blended. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.

3. Wet hands, and folding the mixture in your palms, shape perfect balls about 1 1/4 inches in diameter (they will double in size when cooked). Gently place the matzo balls in the boiling water, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place one or two in each bowl of soup. Serve immediately.
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