This is my Mom’s epic chicken soup. Served with her fluffy, ethereal matzoh balls—this is my family’s most requested soup. Nanny Fela’s chicken soup is a mainstay of my Rosh Hashanah and other holiday meals.
To make chicken soup:
Wash and dry the chicken leg quarters and flanken. Place in a large stockpot and fill with water to cover by 1 to 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, skim off the foamy solids that rise to the top.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the carrots, parsnips, turnip, celery, onion, garlic cloves, parsley, dill and bullion cube.
Once all the ingredients are at a simmer, partially cover the stockpot and cook the soup for about 2 hours.
Place cheesecloth in a large sieve and strain the soup. Discard most of the vegetables, but save the carrots and slice them into rounds to put into the soup. Also, make sure to save the chicken and the flanken. You can cut the chicken into chunks and serve it in the soup, or you can make chicken salad with it. The boiled chicken freezes well, so you can freeze and save it for future use.
I like to place the strained chicken stock into a gravy strainer to remove the fat from the stock. Or, you can refrigerate or freeze the stock and remove the fat the rises to the top and solidifies when cold.
The boiled flanken is very tasty and tender. You can serve it in the soup. My mom served it to my dad as part of a main course.
Place the chicken stock in the fridge or freezer. Skim off the fat that forms at the top before heating and serving.
To make matzoh balls:
In a mixing bowl, beat well the 2 eggs and the canola oil. Slowly stir in the contents of 1 packet of matzoh ball mix. If desired, add the chopped herbs at this time. Add 1 tablespoon of matzoh meal to the mixture. Mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
While the mixture is chilling, fill a large pot with water. The water should come to within an inch or two of the top of the pot. Bring the water to a boil.
Remove the chilled mixture from the refrigerator and form 1-inch balls, rolling them with your hands. Drop the matzoh balls into the boiling water. Partially cover the pot and cook the matzoh balls in the boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Remove the matzoh balls from the boiling water. They should be light and fluffy. You can serve them immediately in the chicken soup, or make them several days ahead and refrigerate.