Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe: Chicken Soup & Kneidlach/Matzoh Balls with Pesach/Passover In Mind


Chicken soup is truly a staple dish weekly for the Friday night meal in most Jewish homes. In the  late Spring and Summer time I try to avoid cooking up things that heat up my super small apartment to unbearable temperatures. In the winter time though it is a routine that my end of the week just can't be without. Plus, the 3 of us can literally clean out an entire pot by the end of the weekend easily- that's how good its is!  

I grew up in  a family where matzoh balls were pretty much the high point of our Pesach meal as we didn't have that custom of not eating gebrokts (matzah that has come in contact with water, those who refrain from eating gebrokts on Passover do so for fear that during the baking process there may be a minute amount of flour that did not get kneaded properly into dough and that upon contact with water the flour would then become chametz) I never imagined that I'd marry into a family who's custom was to refrain from eating gebrokts. It may not be a big deal for those who haven't from eating it all of their lives but for me it was definitely more difficult to accept. So now I have to enjoy my matzoh balls/kneidlach before Pesach or over the last day of it when it is allowed once again. 



Either way this is one amazing recipe that can be eaten year round really. But for those people who do eat gebrokts over the first days it'll be the perfect dish to serve at the Pesach seder meal.  This year Pesach has fallen out earlier on the calendar then it has in the past few years which means it'll be a bit colder in most areas and not quite as far into Spring. Regardless,  this soup will warm everyone up and will surely be the highlight of your entire Seder meal. A savory soup with light fluffy matzoh balls is sure to please everyone from the adults to the children and the guests. I can't wait to cook up a pot of this heavenly chicken soup tomorrow night as I've been enduring a sinus infection all week and you know what they say about chicken soup being the greatest form of penicillin right? I plan to hopefully record it for you as I do it this time as well and upload it to YouTube so that you can see how I do it clearly step by step and follow along as well if you'd like. And if your custom is not to eat gebrokts like mine is then not worry, you can skip the matzoh balls and add some home made egg noodles instead- my husbands favorite! By the way,  I use a pressure cooker to make my soup it really cuts down the time and keeps the water from boiling out. I bought mine on eBay and have loved using it ever since for all sorts of things- chicken, meat, soups etc. Also I have to admit I do get lazy sometimes and buy the matzoh ball mix in box from the grocery but my homemade ones are way better so I try to make those whenever I can. 

And now for the recipe: 


Chicken Soup with Matzoh Balls:

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

1 (2 lb.) Package of Chicken Thighs
1 Large Carrot, Peeled and Sliced into Rounds
1/2 of a Vidalia or Sweet Yellow Onion, cut up 
2 Cubes of Haddar Crushed Garlic Cubes
1 Cube of Eden Chopped Dill
1 Tablespoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
11 Cups of Water (Fill your pot to about 3/4 of the way full)
3 Tablespoons Chicken Consomme Mixed with a little hot water to dissolve it

Matzoh Balls/Kneidlach:

Makes about 20 Small Sized Ones

1 1/4 Cups Matzoh Meal 
4 Eggs
1/2 Cup Seltzer
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil 
A little salt and pepper to taste 

Method:

Soup:

1. Rinse the pieces of chicken, pat them dry and place them in your pot or pressure cooker. Add the peeled and sliced carrot, yellow onion, garlic cubes, dill cube, salt and pepper.

2. Put the chicken consomme in a cup or bowl and add a little hot water to dissolve it. Mix to combine and then pour it in with the rest of ingredients in the pot. Add the 11 cups of water or enough to fill your pot to 3/4 of the way full. 

3. Fit the pot with it's lid and put a pretty high flame underneath to bring it to a boil. Do not lift the lid to check on it especially with a pressure cooker which usually locks itself when it's that hot anyways. 

4. Once it has come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it cook for 2 hours like that. Warning: keeping the heat on high when cooking with a pressure cooker may cause it to explode (I know from experience hehe)  

Matzoh Balls:

Now cook up the matzoh balls/kneidlach. I do not cook my matzoh balls up in the soup, I cook them separately and then add them to the pot of soup before serving but do whatever you like best:

1. Begin by combining all of the matzoh ball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix them together lightly with a fork and then either put them in the fridge to allow the mixture to really come together and toughen up a bit or leave them out in room temperature for a bit if you are in a rush to cook them.

2. Bring a pot of  salted water with a little added veg oil to keep them from sticking to the pot or each other  to a boil. 

3. With damp hands take a pinch of the matzoh ball mixture and roll it between the palms of your hands to form medium sized balls. Drop them all into the water and allow them to cook for 5-7 minutes or until they seem light and fluffy and cooked through. 

4. Put them in a Tupperware container or a medium sized bowl to sit until the soup is ready and then add them to the pot once it is or put them in bowls and spoon the chicken broth over it once ready to serve. 


Thanks for stopping in and thank you to everyone that went and checked out my new YouTube videos, {Gigi Katz- gigikkitchen} & liked commented and subscribed it really means so much to me! If you haven't already- go do that! 

Also, go join my awesome giveaway still going on now here at the blog for a Smashbox hydrating under eye primer that I personally love- you never know you could win it! It ends tonight so act quick!

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Hope the Pesach Prep is going well!
XX.
 GIGI. 

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