Provided by: Chef Jo-Ann Markovitzky
1 large chicken (preferably kosher)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 8 to 10 pieces
1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and cut into 8 to 10 pieces
2 celery stalks, each cut into 8 pieces
1 bouquet garni (cheesecloth filled with 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 10 whole black peppercorns, and 2 bay leaves)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Garnish: fresh dill sprigs or small dice of carrot and leek
Wash the chicken and remove any innards, and place in a 5-to-8-quart soup pot. Add the vegetables and bouquet garni and enough cold water to cover the chicken and vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 1 and 1/2 hours, making sure the soup does not boil. The chicken meat should fall off the bone easily; if it does not, continue cooking for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the soup through a colander into a pot of similar size and set aside to cool. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
Skim the fat from the top of the soup, reserving for matzo-ball recipe (see below). Reheat the soup, and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Mix all the ingredients, plus 1 teaspoon of salt, together in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Fill a 5-to-8-quart pot three-quarters of the way with cold water, and bring to a boil. Add 3 tablespoons salt. With cold, wet hands, form the matzo mixture into 8 balls. Drop, one at a time, into boiling water. Cover, and boil gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the balls from the water with a slotted spoon, and place in the seasoned chicken soup. Reheat 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Do not heat for too long, or the matzo balls will start to disintegrate.Note