Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Shmaltz is God's gift to mankind. I grew up on the stuff, although most people don't eat it today. I started making it again, because the flavor is so absolutely amazing, and even though it's heart-attack deadly, it is so worth it to have some every now and again. I usually save the chicken fat and skin in the freezer when cooking chickens, and when I have enough, I render the shmaltz. Believe me, there is nothing better than matzoh balls or chopped liver made with shmaltz. My mother fries potato disks in the stuff, one of my best childhood culinary memories.
- Cut up the chicken fat into 1 inch chunks.
- Cut the skin into pieces, about the same size as the fat.
- Cut the onion into quarters, and then into slices.
- Do not mince the onion.
- In a heavy, preferably non-stick pot, place the chicken fat and the skin.
- Over a medium-high fire, let it cook until the fat has melted and the skin is beginning to get golden brown.
- Add the onion and the salt (you decide how much).
- Once you add the onions, don't leave the pot alone.
- Mix frequently to avoid sticking and buring.
- Keep cooking until the onions are a gorgeous golden brown color and the skin pieces are dark brown (but not black).
- The skin has now turned into something heavenly called gribenes.
- Remove the pot from the flame.
- Let cool and then strain the mixture into a glass or metal bowl.
- Pat the gribenes with a paper towel.
- You can now pour the cooled shmaltz into a jar and keep it indefinitely in the fridge or freezer.
- Keep the gribenes separate from the shmaltz in another jar.
- Your shmaltz is now ready to be used in matzo balls, kugels, chopped liver, and for frying.
- Gribenes are best eaten in a sandwich with chopped liver, or sprinkled on the chopped liver as an edible garnish.
OK, I don't know if this is legal because I haven't actually made your recipe, but it's the same as mine so I know I approve!! (Except that I chop my onions instead of slicing them) I hope there are people out there who still cook with shmaltz (like me) because believe me, this stuff is the real deal. Growing up we used shmaltz in egg salad (instead of mayo) and in mashed potatoes with even more fried onions! Kudos to Mirj for celebrating the fat!
Quick, I need the name of a good cardiologist. Schmaltz on rye bread, the real food of the gods.
Oh Mirj...you and I are going to stand by God with heart attacks for sure. I was raised on this stuff all my life. It is sooo wonderful in everything because it is what gives the food flavor. And it also keeps well. My father is smiling from Heaven on your recipe you know!