We’re still suffering from a cold, which feels anything but common. And since our mama ain’t the cooking type and we live a few thousand miles away from a decent Jewish deli, we’ve had to concoct our own Old-World cure. Here’s our recipe for Matzo Ball Soup, guaranteed to heal what ails ya:
1. Start with a whole, cooked chicken. You can bake your own (2+ hours at 375*) but we prefer to buy one of those fancy organic ones from the market, already roasted and spiced to perfection. Pick off the meat and set aside for tomorrow’s sandwiches.
2. Break apart the bones to get to the marrow. The more the carcass resembles something mauled by a wild animal, the better flavor for the soup. If getting in touch with your inner wolf seems distasteful, give thanks you didn’t actually have to kill and defeather the bird.
3. Boil the hell out of it. Toss the bones in a full pot of water with a bit of skin (the chicken’s, not yours) and let it reduce itself down to an couple of inches. Fill the pot again and repeat two or three times until the broth becomes a shimmery golden color that smells like heaven.
4. Add a chopped onion, three or four sliced carrots and five or six celery stalks. But make sure you scoop out the bones beforehand with a slotted spoon. Add salt and pepper to your liking (don’t get insane about it, though; you can always add more but you can’t take it out.) Simmer.
5. Here comes the schmaltz! Prepare the matzo balls by beating 4 eggs, 2 tbls. of chicken fat (skim it off the top of the broth) and a few pinches of finely chopped parsley. Add one cup of matzo meal and a pinch of salt. Mix well and refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until you can stand it anymore.
6. The secret to fluffy matzo balls is a gentle hand. We’re not hard-packing snowballs for maximum density here. Pretend you have your bubbie’s arthritis. Drop in boiling broth, which should be roiling with vegetables. Simmer under a lid for 20 minutes.
Enjoy with friends and neighbors. But if your sinuses don’t clear after the first bowl, we recommend mainlining it.