Matzo Ball Soup

And yea, I have risen from the dead by means of matzo ball soup.

No, seriously.

It's a labor of love, matzo ball soup. It requires patience, an early morning, and SO MUCH SCHMALTZ. And in most cases, a woman over 50 to cook it. But there were no grandmothers or relatives in sight, so I had to take it into my own hands. Schmaltz is Jewish for "I love you."

I spent today shuffling around the house from the nook where I blog to the kitchen, tending the chicken stock and making matzo balls, adapted from Smitten Kitchen's recipe, and after six hours, it was totally worth it. Keepitcoming braved the cold with errands today, and she said that coming home to fresh, hot soup was a real treat.
So here's the recipe. It's labor intensive, so you can make it when you have a day free or start the soup overnight, but I found that it was perfect when made in time for dinner. One note: the broth had a tendency to evaporate a lot during simmering, often reducing the liquid by half over a period of an hour, so I had to keep bolstering it with chicken stock. The end result was amazing, though. There's something about rendering food, like caramelized onions and short ribs, that makes it condensed and rich. This soup falls into that category.

Foodette's Sick Day Matzo Ball Soup, loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Ingredients (serves 2)

2 pounds of leftover or raw chicken (we just kept everything from our roast chicken dinner a few nights prior and threw it all in)
2 quarts of water
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Matzo Balls
1 cup of matzo meal
4 eggs
4 tablespoons of cooled schmaltz
4 tablespoons of tonic water
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary

1. Okay. Take all of your soup ingredients and place them in a large soup pot. Bring them to a rolling boil and reduce heat to a simmer. A little bubbling is okay. Let it go for three hours and watch Titanic, masturbate, make a few long distance calls, or thwart a Nigerian money scam. Every hour, add some chicken stock to the pot if it looks like it's getting low. You'll notice.2. After three hours, pour the whole mess into a fine mesh sieve under a large bowl. The golden nectar will be underneath. You will want to tip the bowl and drink the whole thing, but do not. Instead, let it cool on the counter or in the fridge until the schmaltz* is solid.3. Once the soup is cooled and there are solids on top, mix all of your matzo ball ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate for a half hour. While that's chilling, start a large pot of salted boiling water on the stove and let it get to a rolling boil. SK advises to wet your hands and roll the balls quickly, into little golf ball sized balls, before dropping them into the water. Next time, I'd make these a little smaller because they really expanded.4. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and let the balls simmer for 40-50 minutes. Once they're all floating and cooked, about ten minutes before they're done, heat up your soup. Chop some fresh parsley in your bowls and ladle the soup in, and a few matzo balls. Consume. It is like liquid butter with chicken essence. NOM.Keepitcoming resembles a nomming kitten in the background. The libation of choice paired perfectly- Hermann J. Wiemer 2008 Dry Riesling, of course.

* For teh Gentilez in the group, "schmaltz" is Yiddish for chicken fat. It is utterly essential in a good Bubbi's kitchen. Technically, because we used the skin and the whole nine yards, it's Griebenschmaltz, but it's all good.

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