Food Friday: Two-stage chicken matzo ball soup

There’s a deli in Indianapolis that serves the best corned beef and the best matzo ball soup I’ve ever had. I didn’t grow up with matzo ball soup, but what’s not to like about starchy dumplings served in a soup form? I was psyched when I realized you could buy matzo ball mix in the grocery store. Matzo purists will probably sneer at this recipe, but I think it’s a good compromise between flavor and ease. The chicken is poached in the slow cooker ahead of time which means the rest of the recipe comes together pretty speedily.

1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs
2 medium onions
about a cup of celery
2 aseptic containers / 8 cups chicken stock
1 packet matzo ball mix
2 eggs
3 tablespoons oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups hot water

Chop one of the onions roughly along with half the celery, and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add one cup of stock and the chicken. Cook 4-6 hours on low. Allow to cool and then remove the chicken and shred it with forks.

Mix up the matzo ball mix as per the instructions and allow to rest in the fridge. Heat a stockpot on medium with a tablespoon of oil. Dice the remaining onion and celery along with the carrots and saute until slightly softened; add garlic and saute briefly. Add the remaining 7 cups of stock along with the water and heat until boiling. Form the matzo balls and drop into the broth; lower the temperature and cook as per the instructions. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and warm through.

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