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Chicken Soup and Matzah Balls for Hanukkah

Soup is the quintessential comfort food. It’s also a great addition to any holiday meal. 
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December 7, 2023
Brad Mahlof’s Liquid Gold Chicken Broth

Soup is the quintessential comfort food. It’s also a great addition to any holiday meal.

”Chicken soup is one of my favorite things to cook during the colder months, especially around Hanukkah time.”

“Chicken soup is one of my favorite things to cook during the colder months, especially around Hanukkah time,” Brad Mahlof, Cook with Brad, told the Journal. “My mom, who is truly an amazing person, makes the best chicken soup, and my recipe is a way to honor her.”

Mahlof is an advocate of homemade chicken stock; it’s worlds better. “Store bought stock tends to be salty and lacks nuance of flavor. The depth and richness of flavor of homemade chicken broth is irreplaceable.”

Brad’s Liquid Gold Chicken Broth

1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken (plus additional 1-2 pounds of chicken bones or wings [optional])
2 large onions, unpeeled and quartered
4 carrots, unpeeled and cut in thirds
3 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
1 parsnip, unpeeled and cut in thirds
1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in half crosswise
20 dill sprigs
1 small bunch of parsley
15 thyme sprigs
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1.5 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
1½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp good-quality saffron

Put all the chicken broth ingredients in a large stock pot. Add cold water. Heat on medium flame and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, immediately lower flame, so that the broth is just barely simmering. Skim any fat that emerges to the top of the pot. The key to a crystal clear broth without any cloudiness is avoiding the broth from boiling so make sure to keep an eye and adjust the temp as needed.
Cook for 4 hours. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids.
Note: If using whole chicken and chicken bones, I remove the whole chicken halfway through cooking, let cool slightly and remove the meat and save for serving. Return chicken carcass back to the pot and continue cooking.
Carrots (for serving):
Boil salted water in a separate saucepan and add in sliced carrots. Cook until the carrots are just fork tender (about 15 minutes). Remove them from the boiling water and store them in a bowl with some of the salt water until ready to serve.
To Serve:
Add chicken broth, a few spoonfuls of cooked carrots, chicken pieces (without skin or bones) and fresh sprigs of dill to the bowl and serve. If you made matzah balls, you can also add those.


To celebrate the season, Katz’s Deli shared their “perfected” homemade Matzah ball soup recipe.

“Katz’s Matzah Ball Soup is a tried-and-true recipe that has been passed down our family for generations,” Katz’s owner Jake Dell told the Journal. 

He adds, “A classic dish that tastes like home, we love to call the soup Jewish penicillin, as it’s the perfect pick me up sure to lift everyone’s spirits. Most people will agree it is hard to find something more comforting.”

Katz’s Deli Matzah Ball Soup 

6 eggs
½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoons pepper
¼ cup seltzer
1/8 cup schmaltz
2 cups matzah meal
Chicken broth

Beat eggs and seasonings together in an incredibly large mixer. Stir in seltzer and schmaltz, then matzah meal.
Store at cold temperature overnight.
Roll the batter into roughly 25 miniature-sized baseballs and drop into boiling water (use an even larger saucepan that is wide rather than deep).
Once the balls start floating, gently stir. Keep boiling until they become softball-sized (almost double).
Add Matzah balls to a traditional chicken broth soup and enjoy.

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