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Schmaltz


zoramargolis
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I just remembered having seen both chicken and goose fat for sale at the German Gourmet store. Falls Church or Bailey's Crossroads. I believe that tins of goose fat can also be gotten at Dean and Deluca.

Doesn't real European schmaltz have crunchy things in it also? Skin cracklings?

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It is easily made at home by rendering the chicken fat and straining and chilling.My Scottish mother make smaltz brownies which were rich and delicious. I believe she learned from her mother during the Great Depression when nothing was wasted. Important to NOT use and herbs or garlic with the chicken cooking if you want the fat for brownies.

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I take the skin off of two or three chickens before I make my stock. Then I cut the skin into pieces that are an inch or two.

To make the schmaltz, I pour a half a cup (to a full cup) of cold water into a sauce pan and dump the cut up chicken skin into it (make sure the water is cold - the skin will render better as the water goes from cold to a simmer). Then I let it simmer until all the water has evaporated and the skin has crisped in the chicken fat. This nets about a cup to a cup and a half of schmaltz.

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I take the skin off of two or three chickens before I make my stock. Then I cut the skin into pieces that are an inch or two.

To make the schmaltz, I pour a half a cup (to a full cup) of cold water into a sauce pan and dump the cut up chicken skin into it (make sure the water is cold - the skin will render better as the water goes from cold to a simmer). Then I let it simmer until all the water has evaporated and the skin has crisped in the chicken fat. This nets about a cup to a cup and a half of schmaltz.

Totally doing this when it gets cold enough out to do chicken stock again. Thank you.

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Totally doing this when it gets cold enough out to do chicken stock again. Thank you.

I saw David Rosengarten do it a few years ago on the Food Network. It is SO unbelievably easy! The simmering water renders the fat very well. Once the water has evaporated, you're left with the fat and the skin. The skin then fries in the fat (further rendering it - at a medium temperature) and produces those nice "cracklins". You just have to stir it every once in a while until the water evaporates so that the skin doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn (giving a burnt flavor to your schmaltz).

I do this for Thanksgiving too, where I buy turkey/chicken skin from the butcher and render it off. Then I make a roux from the fat to thicken the drippings/stock into a gravy. It's much more flavorful when your roux is made from the fat of whatever animal the stock if from.

Cheers!

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Here's the schmaltz that I made after making my stock (sorry for the size of the photos):

Skin from the four whole chickens that I used to make my stock

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Cut skin into inch sized pieces and add that to 3/4 cup of cold water

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Cook at low to medium temperature to let the water render the fat from the skin

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Once the water evaporates, the fat will further render the skin until the skin is crisp

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Once the skin is completely crisp, strain the fat

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Cool to room temperature and enjoy your schmaltzy goodness!

IMG_6674.jpg

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