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Schmaltz (i.e. Chicken Fat, Goose Fat, etc.)


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I've sadly been forced to give up my animal fat obsession as of late due to an ever expanding waistline but the one small concession I will make is that I take the fat from off the top of the drippings of a roast chicken and use it to make the most utterly divine salad dressing in the world. I figure the goodness of the lettuce is enough to balance the badness of all that cholesterol.

this reminds me of a lamb fat vinaigrette that we used to make for staff meal after we skimmed the fat from teh lamb shank pot!! Yum :cool:

I teach my students to use the rendered schmaltz for making roux! Nothing tastes better to me than a chicken noodle soup made with strong chicken stock thickened to veloute with schmaltz roux, ditalini, and little bits of slowly roasted chicken thigh meat!! I suppose you could throw some vegetables in there if you HAD to...... Also, think veal fat for, well, veal flavored dishes that need to be thicker....

Here you go, those who wished for a EGCI course on rendering. Place fat (cut into pieces larger than what you could fit into your mouth, but not bigger than your head) into a pot, and place on a burner over low heat. Cook until the fat is crispy, and has shrunken to pieces that you CAN fit into your mouth. Remove and drain crispy skin, season heavily with the seasoning of your desire (old bay or simple kosher for me), grab a billy club (stun gun or tazer substitutable) to beat off anyone that comes within 12 feet of you, stopping the consumption of said crispy bits only when you can litterally feel and hear your heart beat with a few second lapse between the two. Strain the liquid fat through a coffee filter, and freeze in an ice cube tray or shallow baking dish (you can later cut into ice cube sized pieces).

Buy rolaids from immense heartburn due to excessive consumption of crispy fat. Or Tums if you need calcium. Or if you are really into rolaids, get a gallon of milk too.

Edited becuase I forgot that commercial where they called them "Calciums", you know, where they rolled two tablets out, removing the T from the package. Rolaids should come up with a catchy thing like that.

Edited by Tonyy13 (log)

Tonyy13

Owner, Big Wheel Provisions

tony_adams@mac.com

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I looked up the process in The Complete American-Jewish Cookbook by London and Bishov--they recommend covering the fat/skin bits in cold water, bringing everything to a boil, then simmering until the water's gone. Why not just cook the bits over very low heat until the desired results are achieved? Does anyone know what purpose the water serves?

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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  • 2 months later...

I am bumping this up for ease of consultation.

I just made chicken stock from wings and drumsticks, capping most of the legs to reserve the meat from the thighs for other uses.

I skimmed the fat and still have the very fatty skin on the thighs, some of which might be rendered depending on what I make.

Feel free to pipe up if you wish to lend guidance. I was not raised to consider chicken fat food or a gift from the gods either; later on I developed my own conflicted notion of what's healthful and what's not and this golden stuff scooped from the surface of the gelled stock has always been discarded for this reason, too. However, I am curious.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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  • 3 months later...

Today I bought eight pounds of chicken necks and back to use in making a batch of chicken stock.

As I was removing the skin and fat globules from the chicken parts, I thought to myself, "hmmm, maybe I should try making my own schmaltz. I wonder how it will come out."

So I took all of the skin and fat and put them into a large skillet with a little water under a very low heat - not even a simmer. About an hour and a half later the skins were curled up and starting to brown and I saw a yellowish liquid in the pan.

I strained out the skins and poured the golden liquid into a container. I guess this is schmaltz right?

I can't wait to try it in my cooking.

I plan on making a roast chicken tomorrow night for dinner - it will definitely be basted with the schmaltz.

Edited by Kris (log)
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Feel free to pipe up if you wish to lend guidance.  I was not raised to consider chicken fat food or a gift from the gods either; later on I developed my own conflicted notion of what's healthful and what's not and this golden stuff scooped from the surface of the gelled stock has always been discarded for this reason, too.  However, I am curious.

I missed your post in July! Did you use the schmaltz? Do you still need guidance?

I strained out the skins and poured the golden liquid into a container.  I guess this is schmaltz right?

It's a form of schmaltz. Schmaltz=fat. It'll be great with the chicken.

I hope you didn't throw out the bits of skin. Once browned they make a coveted treat - grieven - aka: Chicken Cracklin'.

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Yes I threw out the skins. I really don't eat chicken skin unless the bird is fried.

Plus the skins weren't crackling crisp. They seemed slimy. Maybe I could have cooked them a little more but I didn't want to chance it and burn the melted fat.

Edited for grammar.

Edited by Kris (log)
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Kris,

Shmaltz doesn't need water, just a drop of oil to get the rendering started. Keep the fat-laden skin on the lowest possible flame to prevent burning, and don't add the chopped onions until the skin is starting to look crisp. Stir a few times and allow the onions to become crisp, by which time the skin should be so too.

I think that if the skin looked slimy, it was because of the water and not long enough cooking. But did you like using the shmaltz? I render a small quantity or twice a year, mostly for making matzah balls or to flavor potatoes. I wouldn't baste a chicken with shmaltz, though; it seems to me that the cooking juices have enough fat for basting.

- Eh, edit here - always a mistake not to read upthread... tonyy13 has it exactly right, beating trespassers off and all.

Miriam

Edited by Miriam Kresh (log)

Miriam Kresh

blog:[blog=www.israelikitchen.com][/blog]

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Thanks for the advice. The only reason I added a little water is because the chef advised the class to do that in a cooking class I recently took.

I haven't used it yet, nor did I put onions in it.

I am curious about something though...Now that the schmaltz is hardened in my refrigerator, it looks like it separated into two layers - one bright yellow layer at the top and a lighter beige colored layer at the bottom. The top layer looks more like what I'm accustomed to seeing as melted chicken fat. What is the bottom layer?

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  • 2 years later...

Fry potatoes in it

freeze it to saute the veggies for your next batch of soup

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Don't you dare throw that out - schmaltz is awesome for almost any frying application! One of my favorites - fried rice. Authentic Chinese fried rice is always made with lard - chicken fat is the next best thing!

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

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Use it to fry things -- onions, greens, meat, eggs, potatoes, etc. ... cooks like butter but has some bacon-like flavor qualities ... You can deep fry in it too ... home fries, french fries, latkes ...

But, I use it in my traditional chopped liver and in my matzo balls .. it adds "depth" of flavor ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Use it to fry things -- onions, greens, meat, eggs, potatoes, etc. ... cooks like butter but has some bacon-like flavor qualities ... You can deep fry in it too ... home fries, french fries, latkes ...

But, I use it in my traditional chopped liver and in my matzo balls .. it adds "depth" of flavor ...

that's what I do for authentic tasting Jewish home cooking of the Eastern European kind. I fry my kreplach in chicken fat, or schmaltz, also great for matza balls, as an addition to buckwheat (kasha), to fry onions. I never deep fry using it simply because I never accumulated that much. I store it in the freezer.

Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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Fried eggs in chicken fat. But then, my grandmother would put on bread or a matza.

Before saving it, I usually clean it by boiling with some water to remove stuff from the soup. I then cool it, remove from the water and heat it to drive off the liquid. Then, you can freeze it, although it will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.

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Fried eggs in chicken fat.  But then, my grandmother would put on bread or a matza.

Before saving it, I usually clean it by boiling with some water to remove stuff from the soup.  I then cool it, remove from the water and heat it to drive off the liquid.  Then, you can freeze it, although it will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.

Okay, let me see if I'm following you here.

You boil the fat that's been removed from, say, a soup (stock?). You cool it and...remove from water and heat it to drive off the liquid? You lost me there!

Starkman

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Fried eggs in chicken fat.   But then, my grandmother would put on bread or a matza.

Before saving it, I usually clean it by boiling with some water to remove stuff from the soup.  I then cool it, remove from the water and heat it to drive off the liquid.  Then, you can freeze it, although it will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.

Okay, let me see if I'm following you here.

You boil the fat that's been removed from, say, a soup (stock?). You cool it and...remove from water and heat it to drive off the liquid? You lost me there!

Starkman

When you take the fat slab off of a cooled stock there will gunk stuck to the bottom of it.

So reheat it in clear water then chill the pot till the fat is a slab again

Then heat up the slab to remove any trapped water

Then freeze or use

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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I think the easiest way to get a supply of chicken fat is to skin a batch of chicken thighs, and then render the fat from the chicken skins. Not only do you get nice clarified chicken fat, but you also get to eat the insanely delicious chicken skin cracklings!

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Okay... you got me drooling. Who needs bacon fat (trayfe) when you can have schmaltz! The really good kosher butchers will sell you jugs of this stuff if you ask them nicely.

My all time favorite application is to roast a cut up bone-in, skin-on chicken over a bed of new potatoes and several heads worth of unpeeled garlic cloves. The fat renders from the chicken and is abosrbed by the potatoes and the garlic. I serve it with plenty of challah to soak up the schmaltz and to spread the roasted garlic. I also tend to wipe the roasting pan clean with a little challah to get that last bit of schmaltz before washing it.

As mentioned before, skim the schmaltz off of the stock and use it in the matzo balls. Floaters vs sinkers is a discussion for another day.

Schmaltz also makes for a damn fine crust on a chicken pot pie.

Finally, it makes a nice addition to knedlach when I make my mother in law's paprikash.

Dan

Edited by DanM (log)

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

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  • 1 year later...

I'm willing to risk the 'dumb' question. Does the rendered fat need to be refrigerated or frozen? Other pure fats like Crisco or various oils do not. Would love to hear from the bacteria experts.

---------------------------------------------------------

"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

Julia Child

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  • 6 months later...

Interesting to me as I recently skimmed a nice little cup of schmaltz from some chicken broth I was making. My daughter gave me the "What's that!" Now I can tell her to cook her Latkes in it.

Never had it growing ups as my parents felt everything had to be cooked in bacon fat.

I actually saved it to use in Chinese dishes. Have to try the bok choy cooked in it that was referred to way back in the beginning of this thread.

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