Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Soup or a rather bland soup, that wasn’t quite good

In case you can’t tell I’m a succer for chicken soup recipes.  I like them a lot.  However of the different one’s I’ve tried or even made a couple of times I’ve yet to find one that always works.  Partially I think it’s the letting it simmer long enough to get the flavor, but not so long it boils off all the broth.  That’s where I go wrong.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

 

Ingredients

  • 2 small or 1 large boiling or roasting chicken (I got a cut-up chicken, easier to use and fits in the pan better)
  • 1 unpeeled onion, halved (I chopped into little pieces)
  • 1 rib celery (cooked celery yuck)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chunked (cooked carrots, yuck)
  • A few stalks parsley
  • A few peppercorns (added a bit more than a few, but not too much, my kids complain if there’s too much “black stuff,” and you should hear them talk about the horrors of it on Mac and cheese)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I also added some thyme, and I was realizing the times it worked best was when I had the poultry seasoning spice I buy in bulk from my local grocery store)

Directions

1 recipe Matzo Balls, recipe follows (ummm, I didn’t even bother with this part, truthfully I knew I couldn’t get away with this, as it was I was really the only one who ate any significant portion of this)

Put all the ingredients, except the matzo balls, in a large stockpot, cover abundantly with water, and bring to a boil. Skim to remove all the gray scum that will float to the surface, then let cook at a simmer for about 3 hours. Just keep tasting: when the broth tastes golden and chickeny, it's ready. Remove the chicken and, if you like, leave the soup to get cold to you can remove any fat that collects on the surface. That way you can accrue some schmaltz, too.  (Who doesn’t love the word schmaltz?  Ummmm,  I didn’t let it cool, at this point I was really starting to run out of time to get food on the table and get off to my MOPS meeting)

Reheat the stock, and serve it as a plain soup, or add a few carrot sticks - from about 2 carrots, say - and cook in the soup, adding some torn-up pieces of chicken to warm through at the end. I like to add freshly chopped parsley. (You can also cook the Matzo Balls in the soup as well while it's heating up again.)

Matzo Balls:

1 egg

2 tablespoons schmaltz, margarine or butter, melted

3 tablespoons water or soup stock

Scant 1/2 cup medium matzo meal

Pinch salt and a grind of pepper

Whisk the egg in a large-ish bowl, then whisk in the melted schmaltz (or whatever). Carry on whisking as you add the water or soup stock, the matzo meal and salt and pepper, and mix together into a rough paste; if it's too stiff to feel that it might be malleable later, add a little more water. Put in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour (or leave overnight if you wish) then dip out small lumps of paste and roll them into walnut-sized balls between the palms of your hands. Cook the dumplings in boiling, salted water and simmer for about 40 minutes (you can just cook them directly in the soup, but I'll do anything to preserve its unstarchy clearness). They are cooked when they rise to the surface. Add to the soup, and ladle out generously into waiting bowls.

Yield: makes about 20

And I’ll pretend I did this part, oh wait I didn’t.

I’ve printed off about another 10 recipes of hers to try, in particular there’s a crispy chocolate thing that looks yummy.

 

Oh, and here’s the other recipe “I” made Crunchy Pork Chops and Tomato Spinach Salad or something.

I’d provide commentary for how it was to make, but honestly I had the best husband ever who let me finish up what I was working on in my pretend garden.  I could make up a commentary for him, but I would like to keep Jeff talking to me, and I don’t think it would be good for marital harmony.  My sense of humor is not always his.

So, I’ll just say it was yummy, but a lot like some of the other breaded recipes I’ve done in the past.

Now head on over to I Blame My Mother for some more great recipes, oh wait she changed her name to I Thank My Mother.

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