First, cue the music here.
Food is, of course, all about our culture. A cultural signifier, a reveal. Chicken fat is also known as schmaltz, which also means sentimental. Wildly sentimental. In my opinion that was due to the tremendous affection a well fed chicken and its frugally harvested chicken fat stirred in people long before the food police and moralists demonized animal fats.
We can spar with statistics, but I think of most food like this:
Son: "Is chocolate bad for you?"
Me: "If chocolate was the only thing you ate, it would be bad for you."
You could say the same about anything, including carrots.
I use schmaltz to saute rice, chicken livers, and add to matzoh meal for matzoh ball soup. One way to get it is to simply skim the fat off of your home made stock. Another way, when I'm feeling particularly frugal, like these days, is to buy those fryer chickens on special, and bring them home to butcher and make stock. The livers and fat are an extra bonus.
To render you should: gather fat from the neck and cavity. If you come across extra fat from butchering the chicken use that as well. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat. Simmer until the fat is rendered; you may need to adjust the heat and add more water. If you do it right you'll have a bonus: gribenes, little pieces of chicken skin cooked brown and crisp, delicious!
Strain and cool the fat. Store it in a covered glass jar in the fridge where it will keep for months.
Need another schmaltzy music clip? I got it right here.
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