Rachel Willen's Fluffy Herbed Matzoh Dumplings in Chicken or Golden Vegetable Broth
A Delicious Passover Dish
Rachel Willen is the founder of Food-fix.com
In a small bowl, thoroughly combine matzoh meal, salt, baking powder and black pepper.
Beat whole eggs in a separate medium bowl with ½ cup of chicken. (Alternately, you can beat the whites separately with a mixer, until they achieve stiff peaks, then fold the whites into the yolk/stock/onion mixture. Some recipes contend that this adds to the fluffiness of the dumplings, but in my opinion it's a waste of time to beat the whites. Once you fold them in with the meal and it sits in the fridge to hydrate, most of the loft you achieved in the whites will have dissipated. The key to fluffiness, in my experience comes simply in NOT overcooking the dumplings, and in the added baking soda.) Stir onions into egg mixture, (if using), and then the fat or oil, all but a tablespoon of chopped herb, salt and pepper.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine thoroughly with a silicone spatula so you can scrape the sides of the bowl. The dough should be quite moist, barely stiff enough to make into balls. If it's too moist and soupy, add a little more meal, but be aware that the dough will dry out a bit as it sits and the meal becomes hydrated.
Cover the mixture and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes or up to an hour.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well.
Using wet hands, (you may have to wash hands every few dumplings you form), shape the mixture into spheres about 1 inch in diameter. They will double in the cooking process, so do not make them too large to start.) Place raw dumplings on a lightly greased plate or baking sheet lined with parchment. When you have used up all the mixture, and the water is at a rolling boil, add them all to the water. Cover the pot, at least partially. The dumplings will bring down the temperature of the water. Once the water begins to bubble again, turn heat under pot to medium-low so that it bubbles gently, (if the water is boiling to hard it will break apart the dumplings and make them tough), and cook the dumplings until expanded and set, about 15-18 minutes. (Many recipes and matzoh meal box directions will call for cooking the dumplings for 30 minutes. If you like matzoh dumplings that are dense and "al dente" and need to be cut with a knife, then cook them for 25-30 minutes. If you like them lighter, more airy and easy to cut with a spoon, then 15-18 minutes is recommended.)
Meanwhile, while the dumplings are cooking, bring 8 cups of broth to a simmer, and add the carrots, cooking them until just tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Do not salt before cooking the carrots because the amount of stock will reduce while cooking and the salt will become concentrated.)
When dumplings are done you can transfer them into the stock to hold for service, or if you are ready to serve, place two to three balls in a bowl and ladle the stock and carrots over them. Sprinkle with remaining fresh herbs.
Recipe courtesy Rachel Willen.