- 1 (4-ounce) box matzo ball soup mix
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, rough chopped, stems reserved
- 5 stems fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 whole (3- to 4-pound) chicken, breast meat cut off and reserved, legs, thighs and wings used
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, cut in rounds
- 4 ribs celery, sliced
- 1/2 cup diced fennel bulb (optional)
To make matzo balls, follow the directions on the package. Roll out and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
Heat chicken stock over medium-high heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, parsley stems, thyme, fennel seeds, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add chicken legs, wings and thighs (bone-in) to the stock and cook, gently simmering, with the lid slightly ajar. After 30 minutes, add breast meat and cook for another 10 minutes until cooked through. Strain chicken out of the broth and set aside to cool.
Reheat strained broth over medium-high heat, then add onions, carrots, celery, optional fennel and matzo balls. Cover the pot and cook at a gentle simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until matzo balls are cooked through and fluffy.
Pull chicken meat off the bone. Add shredded chicken and parsley to the soup and season to taste.