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Jewish Chicken Soup

1 kosher chicken cut into large hunks
Several (3 to 6) large sharp white onions, cut or sliced.
1 or 2 carrots, chopped (optional)
Enough water to cover the chicken
salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken, onions, and carrots in a large stock pot. Put
the water into another pot. Boil the water and pour it over the
chicken, onions, and carrots. Make sure you put in just enough to
cover the chicken and veggies in the pot; if you put in any more,
the soup will be watery unless you boil off the excess water, which
takes a while.) Loosely cover or partially cover the stock pot and
simmer for several hours--the longer, the better, usually. Strain
soup, pouring the liquid portion into a large pot. Place pot with
liquid in the refrigerator until it cools. Take rendered chicken
fat off the surface of the cooled soup. Reserve the fat. (An
alternate way to separate the fat from the soup is to pour the soup
into a measuring cup that has a spout at the bottom rather than at
the top. This way, you can pour off the soup from the bottom of
the measuring cup and leave the fat.) Reheat soup to a boil and
throw in matzoh balls and, if you like, onion, carrot,and/or chicken
bits from earlier stages in making this soup. Cook matzoh balls,
add salt and pepper, and serve.


Ingredients for matzoh balls:

2 tbsp. melted chicken fat or oil
large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. soup
1/2 cup matzoh meal

Blend fat and eggs together. Add matzoh meal and salt, blend well.
Add soup stock and mix until uniform. Cover mixing bowl and put it
in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes. (The longer you leave
the matzoh ball mixture in the refrigerator, the fluffier the matzoh
balls turn out. My mom makes them fluffy, but some people like
them dense.) Make mixture into balls and drop them into boiling
soup.(I don't think you need to make the mixture into balls; the
matzoh balls taste just fine if you simply drop the mixture into
the soup by spoonfuls.) Boil for a few minutes--longer for a mixture
that makes dense balls, esp. if you've made it into large balls,
shorter if you're using a mixture that makes fluffier balls.)

What to do with soup leftovers:

If you've made a good chicken soup, you've boiled the chicken for
a while, and the solid chicken now tastes like chewy nothing.
Instead of throwing it all away, here's what we used to do with
the remaining chicken:


Curry Chicken with Coconut Raisin Rice

Cook some rice the way you ordinarily would, but add some unsweetened
shredded coconut and raisins to the water when you go to boil the
rice.

Shred the chicken. It should fall apart easily.

Heat a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a large frying pan.
When the oil is hot, throw in some turmeric, some cumin seeds--either
ground or whole--,some caraway seeds, and some sliced onion. Feel
free to go a little heavy on the onion and spices; remember, you're
going to be eating this with rice, and the chicken has no strong
flavor of its own. If you don't have any of these particular spices
on hand, just use sliced onion and curry powder. It'll still be
OK.

When the onion is translucent, add the shredded chicken and fry in
the frying pan. Make sure to stir frequently; this stuff cooks
quickly, since the chicken is already cooked. Add ground red pepper
and stir through.

Serve curried chicken with raisin coconut rice. This also tastes
very good cold.

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