Wow, you have a dirty mind, I was just talking about matzo balls. I made the soup, J-Cat made the balls, we ended up eating it on Sunday instead of waiting until Passover actually began because I wound up sick. Good timing.
The key to great chicken soup is a great chicken stock, and there's really nothing to it. I had roasted a chicken earlier in the week, so the carcass made the stock, and stock made from a previously roasted chicken just always seems to have a deeper flavor than one made of a boiled whole chicken. If you plan ahead, I also recommend making the stock a day ahead, straining and refrigerating, then skimming off the fat that rises to the top the next morning. Use this fat to make the matzo balls and you will discover a whole new world of amazing balls. Recipe after the jump:
CHICKEN AND MATZO BALL SOUP
For the chicken stock:
1 small whole chicken, 3-3.5 pounds, or the leftover carcass and meat of a larger roasted chicken (I had the carcass and about half the meat of a 4.5 lb chicken)
2 medium carrots, cut in large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and halved
10 black pepper corns
Place the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. If using a previously roasted chicken, remove majority of the cooked meat and set aside to add to the completed soup, adding just the carcass to the pot. Set heat on high and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, add the remaining ingredients, and cover. If using a raw chicken, cook 45 minutes until the meat is cooked and easily comes off the bone. Remove the chicken, pull off majority of the meat and set aside to add to the completed soup. Return the carcass to the pot and continue to simmer for another hour. Strain the stock and discard the solids. At this stage you can let the stock cool completely, then refrigerate for later use. When the stock is fully cold, skim off the fat and use in the matzo balls.
For the matzo balls:
2 tbsp chicken fat
1/2 cup water
1 cup matzo meal
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large stockpot. Mix the eggs, fat, and water together. Add the matzo meal, baking powder, salt and pepper, and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes. Form small balls with your hands (easiest if they're wet) and drop into the boiling stock. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook for 30 minutes.
For the soup:
2 medium carrots, cut into rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
leftover cooked chicken, shredded into bite-sized pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
About 10 minutes into cooking the matzo balls, add the carrots, celery, and onion and continue cooking. About 5 minutes before the matzo balls are ready, add the chicken, fresh dill, and salt and pepper.