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Makes 12 medium sized matzo balls. (For the gluten-free recipe, see my Gluten-Free Matzo Balls.)
Note: Start this recipe the day before you plan to serve it. If it is already too late, plan on chilling the matzo ball mix for as long as you can, three hours at least.
For the Matzo Ball Mix:
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 4 eggs
- 4-5 tablespoons duck fat or schmaltz**, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons chicken broth (or water)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt plus more for salting cooking water
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried ginger (don’t worry, they won’t taste like ginger...it just adds a taste of freshness to the matzo balls)
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped herbs (celery leaves and/or parsley and/or chives and/or cilantro and/or dill)
To Cook the Matzo Balls:
- 1 quart homemade or boxed chicken broth
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- some parsley or dill to throw into cooking water
- Homemade Chicken Broth : See BASIC CHICKEN BROTH
The Day Before:
- Whisk eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, ginger and chopped herbs in a bowl until well mixed.
- Stir in matzo meal and chicken broth, or water.
- Add duck fat or schmaltz and stir in well.
- Cover with plastic wrap and put in fridge overnight.
The Day Of:
- In a large pot, set 5 quarts of water along with the boxed or homemade chicken broth, carrot, celery and parsley or dill over a high flame and cover until it comes to a boil.
- Add a small handful of salt to the boiling water/broth as if it were pasta water...it should taste salty like the sea.
- Using wet hands, form the matzo meal into imperfectly shaped balls- so they look homemade- about 1 ½ inches in diameter.
- Place each one in the boiling water/broth. Stir to make sure they don’t stick.
- Cover and cook for 50 minutes.
- Cut one open to make sure it is fully cooked. If not cook them for a few minutes more.
- Lift out of water with a slotted spoon and place one or two in a serving bowl.
- Ladle homemade chicken broth into each bowl.
- Optional: garnish with a little chopped parsley or dill.
Note: If you are not serving them immediately, just keep drained matzo balls in a covered glass bowl until you are ready to use them.
**Schmaltz and Duck Fat are often available at local kosher butcher shops and specialty stores. In Los Angeles, try Doheny Kosher. I bought my duck fat at Surfas. Online, you can find duck fat at William Sonoma. Chicken and duck fat can also be rendered from cooking. See here.