When I thought about what recipe I should start this blog with, it took me less than 2 seconds to come up with my grandmother’s Matzo Ball Soup. It started off every meal during the Jewish High Holidays. It kicked off family Thanksgiving dinner. My grandmother even kept a stash of matzo ball soup in the back of her freezer in case someone uttered those 4 magic words that every Jewish Grandmother has the cure for…”I don’t feel well.”
Well, the force is strong in me because when my son uttered those exact words not too long ago, I knew that I needed a batch of Grandma’s Jewish Penicillin. Sadly, I don’t have a stash in my freezer. How does an unprepared Jewish mom make an impromptu homemade matzo ball soup when all she has is a frozen whole chicken, matzo meal, and some veggies???
THE INSTANT POT!!!
But how do you make a rich broth from a frozen whole chicken and still have veggies and matzo balls that aren’t mush? Well I found a way.
**If you are making the soup for Pesach, do not add the noodles!**
Instant Pot Matzo Ball Chicken Soup Using a Whole FROZEN Chicken:
3-4 lb Frozen Whole Frozen Chicken
3 large Carrots cut in large chunks (I used multicolored carrots)
3 stalks Celery cut into chunks (I don’t really like celery so sometimes I don’t add it. It’s up to you.)
3 small onions quartered
32 oz Chicken Broth/Stock or 2 bouillon cubes /2 Tbl Better Than Bouillon dissolved in 32 oz water
Salt (about 1 Tbl Kosher)
Pepper (about 7 twists of the grinder)
Fine Egg Noodles
An addition that my grandmother always included was Pupiks (Hebrew word for chicken Gizzards). You can add these at the beginning. The gizzard is a muscle/stomach that chickens have that crush the grain before being digested. So make sure you clean them very well!
Matzo Ball mix (If you want to make mazto balls from scratch, follow this link to my recipe Matzo Balls from Scratch Recipe)
-Place trivet in IP and place frozen whole chicken directly on the trivet. (Make sure your chicken is not the one with the giblets in a bag. I use the Costco whole chicken so the giblets and neck are in the cavity without a bag so it’s safe to cook the whole thing.) Throw Carrots and Onions right on top of the chicken.
-Add salt and pepper directly into Pot. Use as little or as much as you like. Add Bay Leaf.
-Pour broth/stock into the pot and then add enough water to fill to the 4.5L line. I have a 6 QT so it was about 4 Cups of water. It’s ok with the chicken is not completely covered.
-Lock on lid, turn the vent to lock, and hit “Manual” button. Increase time to 60 minutes.
-When done, NR. During this time assemble the Matzo Balls up to the point that you put them in the fridge. Matzo balls need to be refrigerated for about 15-20 mins for the box mix or an hour if making them by scratch, so make sure to judge the timing right. Here is the link if you want to make the matzo balls from scratch. Matzo Ball from Scratch Recipe
-Take out the chicken and the vegetables so all that is left in the Instant Pot is the broth.
-Press “Sauté”. When liquid is boiling add the matzo balls. Lock lid, Lock vent. Press “Manual” and HP cook for 10 mins.
-While the Matzo balls are cooking, cut up the chicken. The chicken meat will fall off the bone so all you need to do is use a fork and maybe a butter knife to cut into pieces. Cut the pieces as small or as large as you like in your soup. You don’t have to add all the chicken. I usually only add one breast and the dark meat. I save the other breast meat for chicken salad.
-When Matzo balls are done, do a CQR or Controlled Quick Release (That’s where you turn the valve or press the release valve a little at a time, then stop. This keeps it from foaming and splattering everywhere.) Open the lid. If you are adding noodles (which I did here, but it is not necessary) press “Sauté” again and when boiling add the Fine Egg Noodles. Let boil for 4 mins. Add back veggies and chicken. Turn off the IP. Add salt and pepper to taste.