Schmaltz and gribenes. Finally right.

I’ve been practicing making schmaltz and gribenes for a few months now, and I finally can report success! It’s not a hard thing to do but, like any new technique, I needed to figure it out.

Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat, and gribenes are the crispy chicken skin bits left after the schmaltz is made. Think pork rinds – but chicken. They make a tasty crunchy salty bit to nibble or garnish with. The schmaltz is beautiful and golden, keeps forever in the fridge in covered container, and gives anything you cook with it a lovely chickeny richness — it’s a great cooking fat for frying potatoes or sauteeing the veg for a chicken soup.

For today’s attempt, I took the skin and fat from three whole chickens and froze it in a loaf, then diced it up fine.   It went into a 2 quart pot over medium heat to cook.


And cook.IMAG0016

And cook.


And cook.IMAG0024

And cook.  Finally starting to brown!IMAG0026

And it’s done!IMAG0030

The schmaltz is drained off.IMAG0035

And the gribenes are salted liberally.IMAG0039

Gribenes! IMAG0040


This is my third go at this, and I am very happy with the result, finally.     Often,  chopped onion  is added after the fat is rendered but before the gribenes are well browned,  and that gives a very nice flavor to the fat,  but it kept burning when I did that.    Also,  freezing the skin and fat so I could get it really evenly chopped into a nice small dice made a big difference in how evenly the gribenes came out.   They are all nice and small and thoroughly crispy.