This Passover tradition is one of my favourite soups, good year round. I always double the recipe for the matzoh balls, since everyone enjoys them so much. You may wish to cook the matzoh balls in slightly salted water, allow them to cool for several minutes and then transfer them to the soup. Some people say that the matzoh balls make the broth a bit cloudy.
Gribenes and schmaltz are both used often in Jewish cuisine. Gribenes refer to the chicken crackling, while schmaltz is rendered chicken or goose fat. If you don't want to use the schmaltz to make the matzoh balls, simply use vegetable oil.
Took shortcuts. Original review 7/9: This is basically a good recipe, Holly. But grebenes and schmaltz? Why would anyone want to make life so difficult? For the Matzoh Balls, I just use a mix. They come out perfect every time. Follow the package instructions, cook separately and add to the soup at the end. As to the soup, I did add the chicken back to mine. I added twice as many carrots, and 3 stalks of celery. I added the whole onions at this point, and removed before serving. Cut the amount of dill by half, added salt, garlic, turmeric, a bay leaf and dried parsley. Otherwise, and without the extras, it would have been a very bland soup. Thank you. - 24 Jul 2008
Used different ingredients. I skip the grebenes and use either pareve margarine or home-made schmaltz (rendered chicken fat). I use parsnips, carrots, celery and onion when making the chicken soup but they're drained out for the finished stock. The finished product is just clear chicken stock, matzoh balls and finely chopped parsley sprinkled on top just before serving. I'm headed for the kitchen to make some soup.... - 24 Jul 2008
Altered ingredient amounts. This was very good. I actually made this just with 4 chicken breasts rather than a whole chicken and it turned out quite good. My guests all enjoyed it also. - 24 Jul 2008