3-4lbsbone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks or thighs
1tbspKosher saltplus more for the broth, to taste
1 tbspvegetable oil
1-2chicken bouillon cubesoptional, to taste
4scallionschopped, reserved for topping
fresh dillchopped, optional
gluten-free soup nutsoptional
1package of matzo ball soup mix*see alternative instructions in the Notes when working with GF matzo meal
chicken broth or salted water
For the Soup/Broth
Generously salt the chicken with Kosher salt. If chicken is Kosher, it is already salted so add less salt. Adjust to taste. Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in large stock pot, then add chicken and cook until lightly browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Add carrots and celery to pan and cook until slightly softened, then add chicken back into the pot along with 8 cups of water. Bring broth to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Allow broth to simmer (rolling boil) for 2 or more hours. Skim fat off the top, if any, and discard. The soup will have a stronger chicken soup taste the longer you simmer the broth with the chicken pieces.
When broth is finished cooking, remove the chicken pieces and separate the meat from the skin, bones and fat. Add the meat back to the broth and discard the rest. Season soup with additional salt and/or chicken bouillon cubes, to taste.
For the Matzo Balls
In a medium bowl, combine eggs and oil and mix together with a fork. Add matzo ball soup mix and mix together with fork until well combined. (See notes for instructions for using matzo meal and baking powder.) Cover mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
While mixture is chiling, bring a stock pot of salted water or chicken broth to a boil. While the water comes to a boil, form mixture into about 15-16 small balls and set aside. When water or broth is boiling, add matzo balls. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and allow matzo balls to cook for 30 minutes, undisturbed. The balls are ready when they float to the top and are soft and cooked through.
Remove matzo balls from broth (remember, they are sponges and should not be left in the broth) and place them in a rimmed glass dish. Place 1-2 matzo balls in a soup bowl, then top with hot chicken soup broth mixture (inclusive of chicken, carrots and celery), then top with scallions, dill and gluten-free soup nuts.
Nutrition Information: Nutrition information is for the chicken soup only and NOT matzo balls. Please see the side panel of your matzo meal or mix for nutrition details.Serving Size: Each serving is 2 matzo balls each plus broth (inclusive of chicken, carrots and celery). The soup is meant to be served as an appetizer, not a main course. If you are making it as the main course, you will want to make more matzo balls and broth. I always make extra. In fact, I make 2 balls per adult and 4 balls per kid. I know my kids and nieces always go back for seconds.Don't Deplete Your Broth: Do not cook matzo balls in the chicken broth you're going to serve to guests as it will deplete your broth and you won't have enough soup. Remove Balls from Liquid: Remember, matzo balls are sponges, so season the water you cook the matzo balls in with bouillon cubes and/or salt, and be sure to remove the balls from the liquid when they're finished cooking to prevent them from overcooking and falling apart.Read Labels: Make sure your chicken broth or bouillon cubes are not only Kosher for Passover, but also gluten free. Many Kosher for Passover bouillon cubes and broths contain gluten and questionable ingredients like yeast extract and maltodextrin. Beware.Prepare Balls Ahead of Time: If preparing the matzo balls ahead of time, allow the hot balls to cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and place them in your fridge. About an hour before serving, place them on your countertop so they come to room temperature before adding them to individual portions of hot soup. Alternatively, add the cold balls to your hot broth and allow them to heat through before serving.