Duck fat gives these matzo balls a richness, and the homemade stock for the soup makes this classic wholesome matzo ball soup recipe a cut above the rest.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alon Shaya of Shaya.
Remove excess fat, breast meat, and legs/thighs from the body of the chicken. Place the body in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken by 1 inch. Place over a low flame and slowly bring to a simmer. As it simmers, skim off all the foam and fat as it rises to the top. Continue to cook for 45 minutes on a low simmer. Add the onions, carrot, celery, salt, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, and bay leaves. Continue to cook partially covered for 2 hours on a low flame. Strain the broth and place the strained broth into another large pot. Add the remaining broccoli florets, chicken legs, hawyej, and matzo balls to the broth and let cook slowly for 45 minutes. At this point, you can hold the soup warm until you are ready to serve.
When ready to serve, remove the chicken legs and pull apart the meat. In a hot saute pan over medium heat, place the chicken breast skin side down and begin to sear. Let cook for about 8 minutes or until the skin has become crispy and golden. Flip and cook the flesh side for another 34 minutes. You want the chicken breast to be cooked to medium. Remove from pan, let rest for 5 minutes and dice. Return the leg meat as well as the diced breast to the broth. Check the soup for seasoning of salt and add the lemon juice. After the soup is plated, sprinkle on the green onions, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Mix the matzo meal with the salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Warm the duck fat until it becomes liquid, but not hot. Add the eggs and duck fat to the other ingredients. Mix until evenly incorporated. Let mixture rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to rolling. Roll into 1-ounce balls and carefully place in the simmering chicken broth to cook. Cook for 45 minutes on low heat.