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Making Schmaltz ...


Shel_B
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What is the best way to make schmaltz? I've gotten numerous suggestions. My GF loves chopped liver, so I want to make some for her every now and then, and that will be the main use for the fat. Also, I sometimes cook duck, and it might be nice to save the fat for confit or other purposes.

Thanks!

 ... Shel


 

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Find as much yellow chicken fat as you can find from any source, (Oriental stores sell chunk Chicken Fat, like american butchers sell suet) including, whole chickens, but preferably, old stewing hens, and cut into manageable pieces (size of marbles) and heat on a low fire (cast iron recommended) or low if using electric and just wait . When the fat chunks don't give up any more liquid, you are done. You have made Schmaltz. Drain off the liquid and refrigerate. Incidently, when you make Chicken Soup, skim off the fat that accumulates on top after cooling and save that too. It contains a bit more liquid, but can be used.

alanjesq

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My favorite way is to take as much skin off the chicken or other beast as possible and chop it fine. Then put the skin in a pot with just enough water to cover over medium heat. the water will eventually boil away and leave you with a pot of lovely schmaltz and grebenes to enjoy.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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Throughout the year I place skin and fat into a bag and freeze it. I have used the water approach for many years. It should be noted, I do this twice a year, so it works best and the safest way to render large amounts. The real danger of doing it in a pan over an open flame is the possibility of a fire. This method does not require keeping a watch over it.

I place the skin and fat in a pan, bring it to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours. I place the pan in the refrigerator until the fat hardens. I remove the disk, place it in an oven proof dish and place in a 250F oven. At the same time, I put the skin on a tray to crisp it up (sometimes, I need to raise the heat at the end after the water has been driven off the schmaltz).

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If you buy one of the 10-lb pkgs of chicken quarters (whole chicken legs), they come with a portion of the back (great for stock) and PLENTY of fat for schmaltz.

I rinse the fat and start cooking with just a little bit of water in the bottom of the pot to start the rendering process. Add chopped onion, and just let it simmer away and do its thing until the fat has rendered.

chicken fat.jpg

schmaltz.jpg

stock ch cooking.jpg

Edited by PopsicleToze (log)
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Here's some past eGullet info on rendering that may help you. You may be able to adapt some of the methods though they deal with lard and not schmaltz:

Rendering Lard - The Topic (merged)

Lard (two methods)

 

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Tim Oliver

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I use no water in the making of schmaltz and the rendering of duck fat.

What you do require is a large saute pan. The side height is just right to keep in the fat splatter if your temp is too high. If you use a casserole pan to further reduce splatter, the schmaltz just sits in a water/fat slurry that is hard to get rid of. The saute pan sides are low enough that any water can boil off which is what you want. I strip the fat from whole chickens we purchase and/or ducks and save until I get enough to render.

It's very easy to do without water and you obtain very nice cracklins in the bargain. The cracklins go well with a hot sauce such as Crystal.-Dick

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I just save up all the fat and skin in the freezer. When I have enough, I run it all through the meat grinder along with veg trimmings (celery, onions, leek) herbs, maybe a peppercorn and clove) into a pot, put some water in, and let 'er rip on low heat untill all the fat is rendered out.

Favorite uses for chicken schmalz are to saute soup vegetables in, and to make roux for chicken based sauces.

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I don't understand why you'd want to flavor the schmaltz. Perhaps if you're using it for a specific purpose the flavoring will be useful, but if using for a general purpose, maybe not.

 ... Shel


 

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