These chicken meatballs are designed to be stuffed inside matzo balls, but they're also good to eat on their own once you simmer them in chicken soup.
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) chicken fat, unsalted butter, or vegetable oil (see note)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons (7g) kosher salt, plus more to taste, divided
- 1 pound (450g) ground chicken (preferably dark meat; see note)
- 1/2 cup fresh dill (1/2 ounce; 14g), finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (29 to 58g) matzo meal, as needed
- 7 cups matzo meal batter (see note)
- 3 quarts (2.8L) chicken soup, for serving
Melt chicken fat, butter, or oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown with darker browned bits, 20 to 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary and adding a teaspoon of water if onions start to burn. Set aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, browned onions, dill, eggs, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt with your hands until mixture comes together. Add 1/4 cup (29g) matzo meal and mix with hands to combine. Continue adding matzo in tablespoon-size increments until you can form neat rolled balls in your hands. Do not overwork mixture.
Pinch off a small portion of meatball mixture, press into a flat disk, and microwave until cooked, about 10 seconds. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
Wet your hands with cold water and roll meatballs into 1 1/4–inch balls. If cooking meatballs plain, simmer in chicken soup until fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
If wrapping meatballs in matzo balls, wet your hands with cold water and pinch off a Ping-Pong-ball-sized portion of matzo ball batter. Press batter into a flat pancake and place an uncooked chicken meatball inside. Pinch up the edges and roll matzo ball in your hands until chicken is fully contained inside matzo ball batter.
Cook matzo balls at a simmer in a large pot of salted water or chicken stock until matzo balls and chicken are fully cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with chicken soup and garnish with fresh dill.
Dark-meat chicken will make for a more flavorful and juicy meatball, and cooking your onions in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) will make them even more chicken-y. If you don't have access to schmaltz, butter or vegetable oil will do fine.
If you're stuffing your meatballs into matzo balls, you can use whatever matzo ball recipe you like; mine is a slight spin on the Manischewitz recipe, using schmaltz or butter in place of vegetable oil and chicken stock instead of water. The matzo ball batter should be slightly tacky and thick enough to handle; you may need to add more matzo meal than the recipe calls for.
The matzo ball recipe above makes 2 cups of batter. For this amount of meatball mixture, you'll need about 7 cups, or 3 1/2 batches, of batter.