Chicken soup with kneidlach

12 Apr

chicken soup with kneidlach

I leave the chicken soup with kneidlach to my mother-in-law – a marvellous cook whose chicken soup draws superlatives from anyone who has the good fortune to taste it, whose fluffy kneidlach could potentially float up from the broth in their airy pillowiness.

But faced with a chicken soupless Passover this year, I dusted off my kneidlach making skills and took one for the team…

I wouldn’t want to go head-to-head with Beulah’s soup in a blind taste test, but we were all very pleased with my effort. The broth was rich and deeply flavoured, and I loved what the fresh dill brought to the party.

My kneidlach were made of sturdier stuff than Beulah’s. Though in my defense, I had to make my own meal by crushing matzo crackers with a rolling pin.

Chicken soup with kneidlach
(serves 4)

For the stock:

  • carcass of a roast chicken (or equivalent amount of chicken bones)
  • 1 brown onion, unpeeled and halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into three pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into three pieces
  • parsley stalks (if you have them)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 peppercorns

For the kneidlach:

  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup chicken fat (or olive oil)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tb fresh dill, minced
  • 1 ½ cups matzo meal
  • 2 Tb chicken stock

For the soup:

  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin rings
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • sprigs of fresh dill
  1. To make the stock, put the chicken carcass, onion, carrot, celery, parsley stalks, salt and peppercorns in a large pot and cover with water by a few inches.
  2. Bring to a boil, skim the surface of any foam, lower the heat and let simmer half-covered for 2-3 hours until the liquid has reduced and the stock is flavourful.
  3. Strain the stock and chill (preferably overnight), then skim any fat from the surface and reserve.
  4. To make the kneidlach, whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the chicken fat (or oil), salt, pepper, minced dill and chicken stock and whisk again.
  6. Stir in the matzo meal and mix until you have a wet dough. Add a little more stock or matzo meal if necessary.
  7. Chill the dough for a couple of hours to allow it to firm up.
  8. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle simmer.
  9. With wet hands, form the dough into sixteen evenly-sized balls.
  10. Lower the balls into the water and simmer for twenty minutes.
  11. In another bowl, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the carrot rings and shredded chicken and cook for five minutes.
  12. Transfer the matzo balls to the chicken stock, add the fresh dill and serve.

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