This recipe comes from generations of women in my family, all of whom, like me, have made it their own.
About the celery leaves: celery leaves seem to be the new thing. In the what-was-once-old-but-now-is-new category, I learned to use them from my grandmother (born in 1892), who learned to use them from her mother.
What would have been new to my grandmother would be using won ton wrappers for the kreplach. Kreplach have been referred to as Jewish won tons, so it made great sense to me to use won ton wrappers to make them. —louisez
Toss everything a large pot. Add water to cover. Partially cover and simmer about 3 1/2 hours or till chicken is done. Cool slightly. Remove chicken and set aside for another use. Strain soup and discard vegetables. Chill overnight. Remove fat (can reserve for another use).
Next day, heat to simmer and add matzo balls (per next part of recipe).
Mix all ingredients together. Chill at least 30 minutes. With wet hands, form balls (with about a Tbs. of mixture) and drop into simmering soup. Cover pot and simmer 30 minutes. Do not uncover pot, or you'll end up with cannon balls instead of matzo balls.
FOR KREPLACH: (I can't seem to insert another section for these. I apologize. In any case, the matzo ball ingredients stop just before the won ton skins)
Cook the onions with the ground beef in large saute pan over medium-low heat until beef is thoroughly cooked (adding extra oil isn't necessary, as beef will release fat as it cooks). Let cool. Add egg, salt. and pepper, and mix well.
Place 1/2-1 tsp. of beef mixture in center of won ton wrapper. Brush edges with egg white. Fold over into triangle and seal. Fold over two ends, use a little egg white, and press to seal.
At this point, kreplach can be frozen for later use. If frozen, do not defrost before cooking. You will want to freeze some, since this is more than you need for one batch of soup (probably about half for one batch of soup).
Add kreplach to simmering soup, and cook, uncovered, till done (about 15 minutes).