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Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup

The secret recipe from New Orleans Chef, Alon Shaya, originally from Israel, for his family's heirloom chicken soup with matzo balls. You would never guess the secret ingredient is duck fat.

Duck Fat Resource:
1. Render out fat by placing duck breast in cool pan and turning heat to medium. Allow duck to cook for fifteen minutes, remove duck (finish cooking in oven), and strain fat into glass container with lid. Store in fridge for two weeks.
2. Grow and Behold offers pasture-raised meat and poultry and is a great resource for all things meat related.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings



  • 2 (3-pound) whole chickens, innards removed, legs and breasts separated
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 celery ribs, washed and cut in thirds
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4½ tablespoons Jamie Geller Hawaij or curry powder
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Matzo Balls

  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup Grow & Behold duck fat (see note above) or chicken fat
  • 4 whole eggs, lightly beaten



1. Remove excess fat, breast meat, and legs/thighs from the body of the chicken.

2. Place the body (reserve chicken legs and breast meat for later on in the recipe) in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the chicken by 1 inch.

3. Place over a low flame and slowly bring to a simmer. As it simmers, skim off all the foam and fat as it rises to the top.

4. Continue to cook for 45 minutes on a low simmer. Add onions, carrot, celery, salt, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, and bay leaves.

5. Continue to cook, partially covered, for 2 hours on a low flame.

6. Strain broth and place the strained broth into another large pot.

7. Add broccoli florets, reserved chicken legs, hawaij, and matzah balls (recipe follows) to broth and let cook slowly for 45 minutes. At this point, you can hold the soup warm until you are ready to serve.

8. When ready to serve, remove the chicken legs and pull apart the meat. In a hot sauté pan over medium heat, place chicken breast, skin-side down, and begin to sear. Let cook for about 8 minutes or until the skin has become crispy and golden.

9. Flip and cook flesh side for another 3 to 4 minutes. You want chicken breast to be cooked to medium.

10. Remove from pan, let rest for 5 minutes, and dice.

11. Return leg meat as well as diced breast to the broth.

12. Check the soup for seasoning of salt and add the lemon juice.

13. After the soup is plated, sprinkle on celery and drizzle with evoo.

Matzo Balls:

1. Mix matzo meal with salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Warm duck fat until it becomes liquid, but not hot.

2. Add eggs and duck fat to other ingredients. Mix until evenly incorporated.

3. Let mixture rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour prior to rolling.

4. Roll into 1-ounce balls and carefully place in the simmering chicken broth to cook. Cook for 45 minutes on low heat.