3free-range chicken Marylands2carrots, coarsely chopped2celery stalks, coarsely chopped2onions, coarsely chopped1head of garlic, halved horizontally3thyme sprigs1fresh bay leaf150 gmdried spaghetti, broken into small pieces2 tbspeach of finely chopped tarragon and dill, to serveMatzo balls3eggs, separated1garlic clove, finely chopped50 gm(¼ cup) ghee100 gm(1 cup) matzo meal (see note)
For matzo balls, beat egg yolks with garlic and 2 tsp sea salt until thick and pale. Separately mix ghee and 60ml hot water until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat eggwhites until soft peaks form. Gently fold eggwhites into yolk mixture until combined, then fold in matzo meal and ghee mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. With wet hands, roll tablespoons of matzo mixture into walnut-sized balls, drop into boiling water and simmer until double in size (25 minutes). Matzo balls will keep refrigerated for up to a week. Makes 20 balls.
Meanwhile, combine chicken, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover (about 3½ litres). Bring to the boil and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked and falling from the bone (1½ hours). Remove chicken and strain stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan (discard solids). Season to taste and keep warm. Stock will also keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Remove chicken meat from bone (discard skin and bones), shred meat into thin strips and add to stock with the pasta. Add matzo balls and simmer over medium heat until warmed through (8-10 minutes). Divide between bowls and serve scattered with chopped herbs.
Note Matzo meal is from matzo, a cracker-like flatbread made of plain flour and water. It is available from select delicatessens and the kosher section of select supermarkets.