Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chicken Soup Recipe

I thought I had this recipe on the blog already but couldn't find it when I went back through to link it to my last post, so here it is. I cheat a little with the mix but then I doctor it up. This is one of those "throw it in there without measuring" recipes.

Chicken Soup:
1 box Manischewitz Matzo Ball and Soup Mix (I totally had to get a box to know how to spell that!) *You could use homemade broth instead of the mix, but if you are a dedicated enough cook to do that then you won't need this recipe! ;)
Lots of water
Drizzle of olive oil (use a little more if you are using skinless chicken)
Salt, to taste (I use a pretty hefty amount- a good grab or two out of the kosher salt jar which I'm guessing is around a tablespoon?)
Dill, maybe a couple of tablespoons or so (my family LOVES their dill)
Large cube of chicken bouillon
Carrots, a whole bunch of them peeled and cut into discs
Celery, 2 or 3 stalks (more if your family likes celery; DH and 2 of the kids don't care for it so I only put enough for me and The Middle Child)
Large sweet onion, cut into "rustic chunks" as they say on the Food Network
Chicken: we like 3 or 4 drumsticks, with or without skin, and a few chicken tenderloins, but you can put in whatever pieces-parts you like, and in the amounts your family will eat

For the matzo balls, which are optional: (you either love them or hate them; they're little dough balls so what's not to like, IMHO) ;)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
matzo ball mix

Fill a large dutch oven or stock pot about 3/4 full with water. Throw in the contents of the broth packet (don't mix it up with the matzo ball packet) from the Matzo Ball and Soup Mix along with the bouillon cube, olive oil, dill, and salt. (Depending on the size of your pot and how much soup you want, I might leave out the bouillon cube for a smaller pot or add another one for a larger pot. You just want a decently flavorful broth.) I usually slice up the veggies at this point and throw them in the pot as I cut them, but if you do your prep in advance then throw the carrots, celery, and onion right in the pot and let it rip. Next throw in the chicken, and since I use smaller pieces of chicken I throw them in the pot frozen; you don't have to defrost! (You don't want to over cook the chicken; it will get tough.) Once the chicken goes in make up the matzo ball mix following the package directions, which include letting the dough chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. (Be sure not to over mix the matzo dough; it gets really tough if you do anything more than just barely incorporate everything. I scramble the egg and oil together first then add the dough, stirring as little as possible.)Once the matzo dough is ready, make up the balls and throw them in the soup too. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes and that's it!

We also make noodles to go in the soup because we love our carbs, but it is very important to make them in a separate pot and add them only to the individual bowls of soup. If you cook the noodles in the soup they will over cook, expand, get mushy, and you won't have any broth, you'll just have noodle mush; blech.

This makes enough for my family to have at least 2 meals, so I'll make it at night when I know we need to get out the door the next day and will need a quick lunch. Or when we're under the weather; it really is comforting.

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