Minnesota TV personality and author Andrew Zimmern's version of a Jewish deli staple is the perfect antidote to a cold winter night.
In a large pot, bring chicken stock to a simmer. Add chicken; return the stock just to a simmer. Cover chicken with a small plate to keep it submerged, then cover the pot. Reduce heat to maintain a very low simmer; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and let cool until easy to handle. Strain stock into a heatproof bowl. Skim off fat (reserving, if desired, to use as schmaltz in the matzo balls); return stock to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine matzo meal, salt, garlic, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs with the 3 yolks, the schmaltz and the 1/4 cup finely chopped onion; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the 3 egg whites (or beat with a mixer) until stiff peaks form. Stir schmaltz mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in one-third of the beaten egg whites until incorporated. Gently fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate for 20 minutes or overnight, until firm.
Line a sheet pan with plastic wrap. Scoop walnut-size mounds of batter onto the baking sheet. Roll each scoop into a ball, handling them as gently as possible. (This is a bit messy; using wet or oiled hands helps.)
Return the soup to a simmer. Add carrot, celery, the diced onion, rutabaga, dill and parsley; season to taste with salt and pepper. (If you started with Andrew's recipe for unsalted chicken stock, you'll need to season more generously.) Add matzo balls using a slotted spoon. Cover and cook over medium heat, turning the balls a few times, until plump and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, shred chicken meat; discard skin and bones. Gently stir in chicken and cook just until the chicken is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove herb sprigs. Season again with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Matzo meal is made from a cracker-like bread. Find it at delis or specialty stores or online (or in most large supermarkets in the weeks before Passover). Though not traditional, finely crushed water crackers make an adequate substitute.