The Grandma Zone: Pupiks, Wings and Necks (and Meatballs)

My grandmother served this dish every Pesach and Rosh Hashanah as one of many courses before the main meal. This dish had been served for many decades before I arrived on the scene, so that is a very old envelope!

In those days, kosher chickens were bought from kosher butchers instead of big chain stores like Trader Joe's. (Chain stores did not carry kosher meat, so if you did not live in an area with a large Jewish population, you bought a stand-alone freezer and had your meat shipped in 3 - 4 X's a year from the nearest metro area with a kosher butcher.) When you bought a chicken, be it whole or cut up, it always came with its necks, pupiks (gizzards) and occasionally even feeseleh (feet). My grandmother would collect up the small parts from the shabbos chickens and freeze them separately, amassing quite a bit of material to be cooked up twice a year on the two holidays. Now I think you would have to order these parts expressly from a kosher butcher, and no, I have no idea as to what quantities, much to my sadness.

She would serve this over a bed of white rice in delicate fine china high sided handled soup bowls. Individual servings would be around 1/3 of a cup over the rice. Wing bones were removed, but not neck bones. The bowls were served on saucers, and you sucked the meat from the neck bones and placed the little bones on the saucer. Despite its humble roots, this dish was very popular - even the kids would ask for seconds.

This recipe is scant on both quantities and directions. I recall her talking about proportions in this - e.g. 2 necks to so many pupiks and feet. In part this is because the quantity of pupiks and necks was indeterminate due to how they were acquired. The meatballs were very small, no more than 3/4 of an inch, perhaps smaller, and they were seasoned although how is not mentioned on this envelope.

I think for this recipe I will merely transcribe, rather than try to fill in. Although I will collect up the list of ingredients at the top as best I can.

Put wings, pupiks, necks and feet in a pot and cover with cold water. Boil for 1 hour, but when it first comes to a boil, add 3 large bay leaves, pepper and salt. After an hour, add in the meatballs and boil one hour more.

In a separate pan near the 2nd hour, melt 2 tblsp chicken fat and add 4 - 5 tblsp flour for medium sauce. Put this over a high flame and stir until it becomes a brown thick paste. Add this paste to the meat mixture by the spoonful and cook slowly for 1 hour more.

Separately, boil a cup of rice with salt and water. Strain off water. Put chicken fat in with the rice back over a small flame until chicken fat is blended with the rice.

The meat mixture was served over the flavored rice.

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