Sunday, April 15, 2012

Matzo Ball Confit

Yes, I know what confit means.  No, I'm not going to cook Matzo Balls in their own fat.  However, I will substitute the duck fat from the smoked ducks we made last week for the required oil in the Matzo Balls, and that is what makes this recipe right for Griller Instinct.

Let's start with the chicken soup that the Matzo Balls are served in.  Well....  I accidentally deleted the video of me making the chicken soup.  So, I recommend make some really rich chicken soup (you can always used my Smoked Chicken Soup recipe if you need a base).  I used two 4-pound chickens (in parts), carrots, onions, garlic (1 head), thyme, celery, two bouillon cubes, fresh dill, a jalapeno and whatever vegetables I had kicking around.

Cut all the vegetables in quarters.  Don't waste time peeling them them.  Put it all in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, them turn it down and let it simmer for 1 hour.  Strain everything out and keep the broth (chicken soup).  Hold on to the chicken and make into something else, like a chicken salad, since there's no sense in wasting perfectly good food.  Some recipes call for cooling the soup and removing the fat that floats to the top.  I say "that's ridiculous."

Is this enough broth?  Perhaps not.  To make a Griller Instinct broth there needs to be some grilled components, right?  I boiled the leftover Thanksgiving (smoked) turkey carcass, and froze the broth (back in November obviously).  So I'm adding that to my chicken soup for a little extra liquid and a slight smokey flavor. I can't imagine you not having some smoked turkey broth in your freezer, but if you don't (and you should), have some good quality boxed broth ready to go.

Don't forget the duck was smoked, as well, so the Matzo Balls are going to have a back note of smoke to match the broth.  There you have it, Griller Instincts take on Matzo Ball soup.  When I told Stew how great they balls came out, he said "no sh*%, you made them with duck fat!"

Here is my Matzo Ball recipe:

12 eggs (beaten)
5 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
4 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup of smoked duck fat (you can substitute 1 cup of clarified butter)
3-3.5 cups of matzo meal
2 cups seltzer

Combine all this (with a big whisk).
Put in in the fridge for two hours.
Fill a big pot with 2-3 inches of your broth
make 2 inch matzo balls (get some oil on your hands to keep the meal from sticking to you)
Boil broth, add balls, (leave a lot of room as they will double in size), reduce heat to a simmer, cook for 30 minutes, remove and let dry on a dish towel. This will likely take two to three batches, and you will keep having to add broth.

When you are ready to eat, heat up the soup, add the balls to the liquid to let them heat back up, then serve.

Here is the part of the video I didn't delete:

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