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Grandma Bessie's Chicken-Matzoh Ball Soup

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Grandma Bessie’s Chicken-Matzoh Ball Soup

This is not a typical Matzoh Ball recipe. Rather, this is a recipe that has been used mostly for holidays and special occasions as it contains ground chicken breasts. In Eastern Europe, Italy and the Mid-East, where Grandma Bessie's recipes have their origin, it was an expensive luxury to make such a soup. The recipe has been modified over the years to include actual measurements. Feel free to modify as the measurements only approximate what I use and what Grandma Bessie used. The recipe is similar in some ways to the classic Italian Chicken Mousse in Broth and, vaguely, like a Potage a la Reine.



1 chicken breast fillet, 2 halves, skinned and trimmed of fat
8 cups home made chicken stock
3 eggs lightly beaten
3 Tbs schmaltz*, unsalted butter or vegetable oil
1¼ tsp Diamond Crystal salt
⅛ tsp fresh ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp fresh ground white pepper
¾ cup matzo meal **

Some vegetables like celery and carrot




Grind or finely chop the chicken breast. Combine eggs, 1/4-cup broth, schmaltz, salt, pepper, nutmeg, matzo meal and ground chicken breasts and mix well using your hands. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Bring the broth to a boil and add the vegetables, if using. Let them cook at a good simmer for a few minutes. Meanwhile, shape the chicken mixture into about 12 balls, bring broth to a boil, and drop them directly into the boiling stock. When the stock comes to the second boil reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the balls float. Serve hot from the stove!


*Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat, and can be purchased at Kosher butchers.  One may use unsalted butter or vegetable oil as well, but the results won't taste quite the same and will not be authentic.

** Feel free to ad some more matzoh meal if the mixture seems too loose, add a little more broth if too firm. Experiment a little. It wouldn’t hurt.

Edited by Shel_B (log)
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