This coming Friday (Feb. 25-26) is Purim. For those who do not celebrate it, Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrating the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, an Achaemenid Persian Empire official who was planning to kill all the Jew. A lot of the celebrations now involve masquerading as those in the Book of Esther, a part of the Hebrew bible, dancing, drinking, and lots of food. One of my favorite dishes to have is Kreplach in soup. A Kreplach is a small meat-filled dumpling often served in a soup or stock made from the same meat.
- 3 pounds whole chicken
- 5 carrots
- 5 celery stocks
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorn
- 2 tablespoons salt
- ½ onion
- 3 tablespoons fresh dill
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ cup flour + extra for dusting the board
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ cups cooked chicken
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons chicken fat (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Steps for soup:
- Peel and cut the carrots into thirds and cut the celery into thirds as well.
- Into a large pot, put the whole chicken, carrots, celery, black peppercorns, salt, whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, dill, and half an onion cut into quarters.
- Pour in about 4 quarts of water, the chicken should be completely submerged with about an inch or two above.
- Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, reduce the heat to a low boil, cover with the lid and let cook for an hour and a half. Every 15-20 minutes, open the pot and gently stir the contents.
- After an hour and a half, carefully remove the chicken and let rest on a plate until cool enough to touch.
- Using a fine strainer, carefully ladle all of the vegetables and spices out of the stock, leaving as clear of a broth as possible in the pot. Set the vegetables aside and save for later.
- Separate the chicken from the bone and shred into small pieces.
- Cut all of the veggies into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Before serving, add in the remaining chicken and veggies back into the soup and bring to a boil.
- Ladle into a bowl and enjoy with the kreplach.
Steps for Kreplach:
- Into a medium mixing bowl, sift in the flour and salt.
- Whisk together the three eggs in a separate small bowl.
- Create a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the beaten eggs.
- Carefully with a fork, start mixing the flour into the eggs. Start off slowly to avoid flour lumps.
- Once a majority of the flour is mixed in, start using your hands to knead the dough and incorporating more of the flour. If the dough seems super sticky, add up to ½ cup more flour.
- Form into a large ball, cover in plastic wrap and let rest for one hour.
- Cut in half and then thinly slice 1 onion.
- In a small pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot, add in the onions and about 2 teaspoons salt.
- Continuously stir the onions until they turn to a dark caramel color. Continuously stir to avoid burning the onions. Once done, remove from heat and set aside.
- Into a food processor, add in 1 ½ cups of the cooked chicken, the caramelized onions, and dill. Here you can optionally add in the chicken fat for more flavor.
- Pulse the food processor until the chicken is in small chunks. It should be about the texture of chicken salad. Do not over process into a paste.
- Remove from the food processor and place into a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
- After an hour of resting. Take the dough ball and cut it into quarters.
- Working with one quarter at a time, lightly flour a cutting board and rolling pin. Then, roll out the dough until about an eighth of an inch thick.
- Cut the dough into squares about 2 1/2 inches on each side.
- Working with one square of dough at a time, place about a tablespoon of filling in the center and carefully fold the dough over and crimp along the edges.
- To cook, boil them in water or the soup for about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the pot and set aside until serving.
- Can be served separately or in the soup.