Chicken Soup

8 servings
  • 1 pound chicken parts (wings, necks, and bones)
  • 2 stalks celery, including leafy tops, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 whole chicken
  • Salt and pepper, to rub inside chicken
  • 1 large whole onion, unpeeled
  • 1 large whole carrot, peeled
  • 1 medium whole parsnip, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch dill, tied with a string
  • Matzo Balls, recipe follows
  • Pour 12 cups of cold water into a large stockpot, and add the chicken parts and celery. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, rub the inside of the whole chicken with the salt and pepper.

  • Add the chicken to the pot, cover, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Do not let the soup come to a rolling boil. Test chicken with a fork to see if it is tender and fully cooked; then remove it from the pot, and set aside on a large platter. Leave chicken parts in the pot.

  • Add onion, carrot, parsnip, salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. When chicken cools, remove skin and bones and cut meat into bite-size pieces. You can add it to the soup, just before serving, or save it for chicken salad.

  • Strain the soup, and discard all solids except the carrot. Drop in the dill for 1 minute before serving and remove. Add more salt and pepper, to taste. Slice carrot and return to the soup. Also add the chicken pieces, if desired. The soup can be served with noodles, rice, or kasha and a matzo ball. The soup tastes best the following day. Allow the soup to cool and skim the fat from the top.

Matzo Balls:
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1/3 cup Schmaltz and Gribines, recipe follows

  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 1/3 cups matzo meal

  • Fill a large, wide stockpot 3/4 full with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a rapid boil. Meanwhile, 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.

  • Wet your 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 1 or 2 in each bowl of soup.

  • Yield: about 12 to 14

Schmaltz and Gribines:
  • This recipe uses the fat and skin from about 4 chickens. It will keep in your freezer. For even more flavorful schmaltz, add a few cloves garlic.

  • 4 cups chicken fat and skin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or smaller

  • Kosher salt

  • Pinch pepper

  • 1 cup onion, sliced into rings about 1/8-inch thick

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional

  • Wash fat and skin well in a colander, and pat dry. Place in a heavy skillet, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low heat (you can turn heat up a bit once the fat has begun melting). When the fat starts to melt and gets slightly brown, add onions and garlic cloves, if using, and continue cooking until onions and cracklings are golden brown and crunchy. Remove from heat and let cool partially. Then strain over a bowl to remove onions and cracklings, and refrigerate them in a covered glass jar. Pour schmaltz into another jar, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • Yield: about 2 cups

Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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