A Passover and holiday staple, matzah ball soup is Jewish penicillin. Before I had a bottle in my mouth I was sipping on this soup, and it’s remained one of my top five favorite foods. This is the only recipe I’ve come across that measures up to my grandmother’s.
This matzah ball is a floater. To make good floaters, you have to get air into the balls, which is best achieved with beaten egg whites.
In a large bowl, beat the 3 egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, 3 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs, and pepper. Whisk to incorporate. Add the schmaltz, minced onion, beaten egg whites, and matzah meal. Fold together until fully combined. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the whole chicken and return the stock to a simmer. Cover and cook for about an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and let cool slightly, then shred the meat; discard the skin and bones. Reserve half of the chicken meat for another use.
Strain the soup into another pot set over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, rutabaga, chicken meat, parsley, and dill sprigs. Remove the matzah ball batter from the fridge. Using the vegetable oil to keep your hands moist and prevent the batter from sticking, roll golf ball sized matzah balls and gently place in the soup. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 25 minutes.
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