Potato Latkes And Chicken Soup

A comforting holiday recipe from judge Gail Simmons.

Potato Latkes with Gravlax, creme freche and Caviar http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/potato-latkes-with-gravlax-creme-fraiche-and-caviar MAKES ABOUT 4 DOZEN 1 1/2-INCH LATKES Ingredients Large baking potato (1 pound), peeled Small onion (4 ounces), peeled 1/4-cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon matzo meal 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Vegetable oil, for frying 1/2-cup creme fraiche 6 ounces thinly sliced gravlax, cut into 2-by-1/2-inch strips 2 ounces paddlefish roe (see Note)

DIRECTIONS 1. In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. Transfer to a colander and squeeze dry. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again. Transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl. Add the flour, matzo meal, egg, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

2. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

3. Arrange the latkes on a platter and top each one with creme fraiche, gravlax and roe. Serve warm.

MAKE AHEAD The fried latkes can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 hours. Reheat them on a dark baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through and crisp. NOTES Paddlefish is a relative of sturgeon. Its roe is available at specialty food stores. AND Chicken Soup with Rosemary Matzo Balls http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chicken-soup-with-rosemary-matzo-balls At Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, chef Dan Barber prepares this soup with seasonal chicken (raised in late spring, summer and fall), using wings, backs, necks and feet. His recipe yields almost eight quarts of broth, so there's plenty to freeze. He likes serving the soup with fluffy matzo balls laced with rosemary.

Ingredients STOCK: Pounds chicken wings 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 4 large onions, finely chopped 7 pounds chicken backs, necks and feet 6 carrots finely diced, 2 sliced 1/2 inch thick 2 celery ribs, finely diced 5 bay leaves 2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise 5 large thyme sprigs 2 rosemary sprigs 2 teaspoons black peppercorns Water 1/4-cup sherry vinegar Salt

MATZO BALLS 4 large eggs 1/4-cup reserved chicken fat or unsalted butter 1/4-cup club soda 2 scallions, white and tender green parts only, sliced paper-thin 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary 1/2-teaspoon salt 1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons matzo meal

SOUP Leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 pounds) 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 10 ounces)

Directions

1. MAKE THE STOCK: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the chicken wings in a large roasting pan and roast for about 30 minutes, until golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onions, cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add the chicken backs, necks and feet, the diced carrots, celery, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns and 8 quarts of water and bring to a light boil, skimming any scum that rises to the surface.

3. Add the roasted chicken wings to the stockpot. Place the roasting pan over 2 burners, add the vinegar and 2 cups of water and simmer over high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add the liquid to the pot and simmer gently over moderate heat for 2 1/2 hours. Carefully strain the stock into another large pot and discard the solids, including the wings. You should have about 8 quarts. Let the stock cool, then spoon off all of the chicken fat and reserve it for the matzo balls. Season the chicken stock lightly with salt.

4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE MATZO BALLS: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the chicken fat, club soda, scallions, rosemary and salt. Whisk in the matzo meal. Refrigerate for 1 hour, until slightly firm.

5. MAKE THE SOUP: Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sliced carrot and leeks and cook over high heat until tender, about 7 minutes; drain. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of the stock to a simmer. Add the diced chicken breast and thighs and cook over moderately low heat until just white throughout, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; reserve the broth for another use (see Note). 6. Bring a large saucepan of the chicken stock to a simmer. Scoop rounded tablespoons of the matzo mixture into balls (about 2 dozen balls) and add them to the simmering stock. Cover and cook over very low heat until the matzo balls are tender, fluffed and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the matzo balls to a clean pot. Add the chicken, carrots and leeks and 8 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer. Ladle the soup and matzo balls into bowls and serve.

MAKE AHEAD The stock can be refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for 2 months; skim off the fat after it's chilled. The cooked matzo balls can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days

NOTES The stock gets cloudy from cooking the chicken and matzo balls, but it's perfectly delicious. Save it to use as the base for another soup.

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