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.
Notes: 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 Manischewtiz 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.
- Yield:Serves 6 to 8
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:2 hours, 15 minutes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chicken fat, unsalted butter, or vegetable oil (see note)
- 1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste, divided
- 1 pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat, see note)
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup matzo meal, as needed
- 7 cups matzo meal batter (see note)
- 3 quarts chicken soup, for serving
Melt chicken fat 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, onions, dill, eggs, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt with your hands until mixture comes together. Add 1/4 cup matzo meal and mix with hands to combine. Continue adding matzo in tablespoon 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 the batter into a flat pancake and place an uncooked chicken meatball inside. Pinch up the edges and roll the matzo ball in your hands until the chicken is fully contained inside matzo ball batter.
Cook matzo balls in a large pot of salted water or chicken stock at a simmer until matzo balls and chicken are fully cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with chicken soup and garnish with fresh dill.