Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Schmaltz: How to Render Chicken Fat

I recently deboned 16 lovely chicken thighs to make some homemade chicken nuggets.  I've always saved the bones to make chicken stock, but this time, it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't need to throw away the chicken skins like I usually do (this was the first time I've had organic chicken to work with, and I never cared to save the fat from the conventional chicken).

So, what to do with chicken skins?  Render the fat from them, of course!

It was unbelievably easy:

Schmaltz: Rendered Chicken Fat:

Medium sauce pan
1/2 c water
Chicken skins

1. Place chicken skins in pot with water.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until water is boiled off and chicken skins are crispy.
3. Strain fat into jar and refrigerate/freeze until needed.
4. Eat chicken cracklins (crispy skins) if you want, or toss them to the dog!
Here's what my chicken skins, which otherwise would've ended up in the trash, became:

The skins from 16 little thighs yielded about 6 oz. of organic chicken fat, plus chicken "cracklins," which are kind of like pork rinds, I guess.  I ate a few (they needed salt!) and gave the rest to the dog, who thought they were a gift from heaven.  I think (for humans, anyway), they may be one of those things you have to get used to...

Since the fats I use in my kitchen tend to be a little pricier than the average cheap, nasty tub o' canola, it was really exciting to get almost half a pound of organic, saturated fat for free!  

Posted at WFMW


  1. Yum! I love crispy chicken skin. I haven't specifically rendered the fat out since I normally toss any left over fat, skin, and bones in a pot with water for broth once I'm done roasting but I love eating the skin that crisps in fat when I roast. And I have been known to dip pieces of bread in the fat pooling around said roasted chicken, especially when there are soft, smashed garlic cloves soaking in it. Oh man, I've got to go defrost a chicken now...

  2. I am about to attempt traditional potato knishs and schmaltz is called for...I always thought it was one of those made up "expressions "...very stoked to dive into unknown waters & try new things in the kitchen.

  3. I am attempting traditional potato knishes & schmaltz is called for...I am super stoked to play in the kitchen ..thanks for the help!


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