Jewish Penicillin

I almost forgot to tell you how I cured my fiance’s illness! Okay, maybe I did not cure him myself, but I made the Jewish penicillin that kicked that cold’s butt! Since I am marrying a Jew, I decided I must learn to master a matzo ball soup recipe. I mean, c’mon! I decided to find the recipe for Houston’s best matzo ball soup….Kenny and Ziggy’s. If you are ever in Houston and are craving a bite from New York, you MUST try this place! Thank me later! Here’s the recipe I found online for their magic soup.

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Kenny & Ziggy’s Chicken Soup

From Ziggy Gruber

1 whole chicken

3 stalks celery

1 large whole onion, unpeeled (find one with a firm, golden-brown peel)

2 large whole carrots, peeled

Kosher salt to taste

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 bunch of dill, cleaned and tied with a string

1 bunch of Parsley, cleaned and tied with a string

Instructions: Place all ingredients in a pot and cover with water.

Let soup simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from pot, and after the meat cools, cut into bite-size pieces. You can add it to the soup, just before serving, or save it for chicken salad.

Strain the soup, and discard everything solid except for the carrot and celery.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice carrot and celery then toss into soup. Also add the chicken pieces if desired.

Other options: Add cooked noodles, rice, kasha or matzo balls.

Kenny & Ziggy’s Matzo Balls

From Ziggy Gruber

4 large eggs

¹⁄3 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)

¼ teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper

1¹⁄3 cups matzo meal

Instructions: Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat with a fork to mix thoroughly. Beat in the schmaltz, and add the ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Stir in the matzo meal and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until completely blended and very stiff.

Let stand for 30 minutes.

Fill a large, wide pot three-quarters full with water.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat.

Wet your hands with cold water so the batter doesn’t stick to them, then, holding and rolling the mixture between your palms, shape it into perfect balls about 1¼ inches in diameter. They will double in size when cooked.

Gently place the matzo balls in the boiling water. When all have been added, decrease the heat so the water simmers briskly but isn’t at a rolling boil when the pot is covered.

Cook for 25 minutes, preferably without removing the lid from the pot.

Remove the cooked matzo balls with a slotted spoon. Serve in hot chicken soup.

The Perfect Chicken-Noodle Soup

8 stalks celery

7 carrots, peeled

1 whole chicken (about 3½ pounds)

2 pounds chicken leg quarters

1 medium onion, cut into pieces

1 garlic clove, cut in half

½ bunch parsley

8 sprigs thyme

20 whole black peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon salt

12 cups cold water

3 cups medium egg noodles, uncooked

Instructions: Cut 4 stalks celery and 3 carrots crosswise into 2-inch pieces. In 8-quart saucepot, combine celery and carrot pieces, chicken along with neck and gizzards (not liver), chicken legs, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 2 hours.

Meanwhile, cut remaining 4 stalks celery and 4 carrots crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Cook noodles as label directs; set aside.

Remove saucepot from heat; with tongs, transfer chicken to jelly-roll pan. Strain broth through colander into large bowl; discard solids. Skim fat and discard. Return broth to saucepot; heat to boiling over high heat.

Meanwhile, remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Cut meat into ½-inch pieces.

When broth boils, add celery and carrot slices; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-high; cook vegetables, uncovered, until very tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in cooked chicken and noodles.

Makes 8 servings

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