Try something a little different and serve your chicken soup with some traditional Jewish Matzo dumplings. Pick up some matzo meal at your local supermarket (or online) and impress with your adventurous flavours
- 1 free-range chicken (about 1.5kg/3lb)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 3 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 celery stalks, thickly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6 medium carrots, thickly sliced (500g/1lb prepared weight)
- Fresh parsley, to garnish
- For the dumplings
- (makes 36):
- 150g (5oz) medium matzo meal
- 2 tablespoons chicken fat or goose fat
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 medium egg, separated
To make the dumplings: Put the matzo meal into a bowl. Add the fat, cinnamon and seasoning, then pour in 150ml (1⁄4 pint) boiling water, adding a little more water if needed, and stir until well mixed. Add the egg yolk, then whisk the egg white and fold it in. Cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for about an hour. Pull off small amounts of mixture (half a tablespoon of mixture per dumpling to make 36) and leave as rough shapes or roll them into balls. Put them on a large plate until ready to cook.
Cut the legs, wings and breasts off the chicken. Remove as much skin and fat as you can from all the joints and discard. Put the carcass and chicken pieces in a large pan with the salt and enough water (about 21⁄2 litres / 4 pints) to cover the bird. Bring to the boil and skim off the foam.
Add the onions, celery and garlic. Reduce the heat. Partially cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.
Take the chicken breasts out of the pan and set aside, covered. Add the carrots to the pan. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes. Take out the rest of the chicken with a draining spoon and set aside with the chicken breasts. Lift out the vegetables with a draining spoon and put them into a warm bowl.
Bring the stock to the boil, check the seasoning and add the dumplings. Cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes. While they are cooking, take the chicken off the bone and shred or chop it. Divide as much of the meat as you want between 6 warmed soup bowls. Spoon in the vegetables, then the dumplings, and ladle hot stock over. Garnish with parsley.
Dip your hands in cold water to make it easier to roll the dumplings into balls.