We all know that chicken soup is closely associated with comfort and well-being. In Jewish households, its earned the nickname Jewish penicillin. Some matzo balls can be "belly sinkers". In this recipe, we add a little seltzer or club soda to ensure that they turn our light and airy.
1 - 3 lb. whole chicken
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
5-6 ribs celery, diced
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 turnip, peeled and diced (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp. rendered chicken fat*, or vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. matzo meal
2 Tbsp. seltzer or club soda
OK...The original recipe for this soup contained Chicken Feet. I respect everyone's culture, but I could not see chicken feet floating in my soup. I looked up the benefits. Collagen, they contain alot of collagen. It is the secret why most people in Asian countries look younger than they are and consider this a delicacy.
Matzo balls are very bland. If you add the rendered chicken fat, it gives them much more flavor. *Prepare the soup, chill, and the next day removed the fat on the surface. Now you can make your matzo balls. You can also simmer the matzo balls in the soup, but the soup becomes cloudy.
Season the chicken with salt to taste and add it to a large stock pot, cover with about 4 quarts water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove any scum that comes to the surface. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery. Bring to a gentle simmer and skim the surface if needed.
After about an hour at a gentle simmer, taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. Remove the chicken to a baking sheet and allow to cool for a few minutes. If you like, break the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to the soup - or make Chicken Salad.
Whisk together the chicken fat, club soda, salt and eggs in a small bowl. Add matzo meal and whisk to combine. Cover and chill the matzo mixture for 15 minutes.
Bring 2 qts. salted water to a boil over high heat. With wet hands or a smalls scoop dipped in water, form the matzo mixture into 1-inch balls. Reduce the heat to medium and drop in the matzo balls. Cook covered, for about 15 minutes. Stir the matzo balls gently and simmer, covered, until fluffy, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the matzo balls to the broth. Garnish with fresh parsley.