Notes: Matzoh balls and chicken soup are served at many Jewish holidays, but Passover originated the dish because Jews are forbidden from using flour or leavening during the eight days of the holiday. These light and fluffy dumplings are a tasty reminder of that prohibition.
While you can substitute oil or melted butter, the key to a richly flavored matzoh ball is chicken fat. Cut off the fat by the neck and rear cavities, cut it into small pieces and saute on medium until the skin is brown and the fat is rendered. Discard the crispy skin (some consider it a delicacy) and use the fat for the matzoh balls.
½ cup water
1/3 cup chicken fat or other liquid shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup matzoh meal
Whisk wet ingredients with salt and pepper until blended, then add matzoh meal. Let sit overnight or at least six hours.
Roll into balls with your hands (about 2 teaspoons each) and drop into salted boiling water.
Cook for 20 minutes at a simmer with the lid on and 10 more with it ajar. (When lid is ajar, raise the heat a bit to keep the water at a level simmer.)
Remove matzoh balls to warmed soup. Makes 16-20.