Thursday, July 18, 2013

Soup series, 9: Gillian Polack's chicken soup and kneidlach(dumplings)

Chicken soup
There are many ways of making this soup. The very best involves a big boiling chicken, some giblets, some feet and the usual vegetables. I can’t get most of these things easily, so I’m giving you the recipe as I made it tonight. The quantities are large, but it freezes perfectly and is good to steam rice in (then I add coriander and chilli and other things and call it rice porridge) and somehow none goes to waste. Vegetables and meat can be eaten with the soup, or it can be eaten (as pictured) as a simple broth.
2 kg chicken frames
1 big handful chicken giblets
1 big handful chicken necks
2 big onions (peeled but not chopped)
1 big parsnip (cut into half or quarters)
Celery tops (the leafier the celery the better)
3 carrots (halved)
Much water

Put the chicken in your biggest pot. Add enough water to cover. Bring this to a boil and simmer for at least 8 hours with the lid off the pot. If more water needs adding (this depends on the size of your pot) just add more. Make sure that nothing sticks to the bottom (stir from time to time). Let it sit overnight. Skim.
Reheat and add the onion. After an hour or so, add carrot and parsnip. After another hour, add celery and season. Let it cook until it’s satisfactorily golden and tasty, skimming or stirring as necessary and adding water as necessary.

Kneidlach (dumplings)
2 medium eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons oil or fat (preferably chicken fat rendered with onion, but olive oil is healthier)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1 cup coarse matzah meal
Sometimes I add a bit of cinnamon, or some almond meal, or some finely chopped celery.
Mix liquid ingredients first. Add everything else and mix well. Let sit for 2 hours. Form into balls (walnut size).
Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil. Add balls (do not crowd the pot) and cook them for 20 minutes.


  1. Always interesting to see someone else's version of a classic recipe! My mother's recipe includes the same vegetables, though we use the celery stalk rather than the leaves. Mum recommends roasting chicken as more flavoursome than boiler, and we eat the boiled chicken as part of main course afterwards, with horse radish or mustard, or Mum minces it for rissoles next day, though not recently. I've made chicken soup with a few pieces of Maryland, seeing it's just for me. I like it with rice or noodles. Kneidlach, in my family, are kept for special occasions, as they're a lot of work and Mum says you need to cook them on the night unless you want them to be hard as rocks! :)

    1. My grandmother used to do that! (eat the boiled chook afterwards, as main)