You'll have more soup and matzo balls than you need to serve eight, but both reheat for another meal.
3 chickens (3 1/2 pounds each), cut up
1 pound carrots, cut up
2 large onions, cut into wedges
3 parsnips, cut up
4 stalks celery, cut up
2 tablespoons kosher salt, and more to taste
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
Large handful fresh parsley on the stalks
In a stockpot, combine the chickens, carrots, onions, parsnips, and celery. Add enough water to cover the meat and vegetables.
Bring to a boil, skim the surface thoroughly, and add the salt and pepper.
Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for 1 1/2 hours. Add the parsley during the last 30 minutes.
Let the soup cool. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and vegetables. Discard the parsley. Refrigerate the broth and the chicken and vegetables separately.
Skim off and discard the fat on top of the broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if you like. You can add some of the chicken and vegetables if you like or serve the broth plain with matzo balls.
1/2 cup chicken fat (available at kosher markets), melted and cool but still liquid
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup water
2 cups matzo meal
In a bowl, beat the eggs and chicken fat until the mixture is frothy. Stir in the salt and water. Add the matzo meal and mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bring a soup pot of salted water to a boil. Turn the heat to medium. With wet hands or a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop, shape the balls into 20 2-inch rounds.
Carefully drop the matzo balls into the boiling water. Continue until all the batter has been used.
Cover the pot and simmer the matzo balls for 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and transfer them to a tray.
Reheat the matzo balls in boiling chicken soup for 3 minutes. SERVES 8