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Simple Chicken Soup and Balaclava Deli’s Matzo Balls


Simple Chicken Soup and Balaclava Deli’s Matzo Balls

This is the soup we sell at the deli. It is made with lots of chicken bones, creating a clear, rich soup which jellies when cold. It is best served piping hot with kreplach or matzo balls. — Lena Toropova of the Balaclava Deli in The Feast Goes On cookbook.

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For the simple chicken soup

  • 1 medium chicken, cut into pieces
  • 4½ Pounds chicken carcasses
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 to 3 dill stems, optional
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the matzo balls

  • 9 eggs, separated
  • 3 heaping cups coarse matzo meal
  • ¾ Cup vegetable oil
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the simple chicken soup

Start this recipe the day before serving.

Wash the chicken and the bones under cold running water. Put them in a stockpot or very large saucepan along with the other ingredients. Pour in enough cold water to just cover, 12 to 16 cups. Bring to a boil. Skim off the scum that rises to the surface, partially cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook at a light boil for 1½ to 2 hours.

Allow to cool slightly for 30 minutes before removing the bones and straining the soup, discarding everything except the carrot.

Add salt and pepper to taste to the soup. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, skim off the fat from the top of the soup.

Reheat the soup to serve, tasting for seasoning and flavor. If the flavor is not strong enough, bring to the boil and reduce to reach the desired taste, and if the flavor is too strong, add some water.

Serve within 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Serve with the reserved carrots and matzo balls.

For the matzo balls

In an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly and mix with the matzo meal, oil, water, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture spoon by spoon to the egg whites, whisking after each addition. Taste and season generously. Set aside for 30 minutes, giving it a light fold through after 15 minutes.

Bring a stockpot or very large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil. With wet hands, and without pressing too firmly, lightly roll the matzo meal mixture into smooth walnut-size balls and drop into the boiling water. After the last ball has been dropped in, continue to boil for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the balls to cool in the water. When ready to serve, remove with a slotted spoon and reheat in the chicken soup.

Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving1135
Total Fat93g100%
Vitamin A355µg39%
Vitamin B121µg19%
Vitamin B60.8mg41.8%
Vitamin C7mg11%
Vitamin D1µg0.2%
Vitamin E5mg26%
Vitamin K12µg15%
Folate (food)44µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)44µg11%
Niacin (B3)17mg85%
Riboflavin (B2)0.6mg34.6%
Thiamin (B1)0.3mg17.1%