Ok, for anyone who followed my last post and now has a small container of chicken fat in the fridge- here is a use that will let you die happy. You may note that I am a fan of the Cook’s Illustrated cook book (see my last post). That is because they happily test 15-20 ways of cooking something before putting into the book. As an extra bonus, you get the back story of how they developed the technique which allows a tinkerer like my self to tweak it slightly (in this case replacing the vegetable oil with chicken fat).
The full details after the break. Continue reading
Schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat is an Ashkanazi comfort food. My mother told me that when she was a child she would eat it smeared on bread as a snack after school. Like most of the food that came with the Jews from Eastern Europe, schmaltz is a food of poverty. Meat was very expensive for most and a real luxury (why do think that Shabbat dinners only rated chicken, and only around big holidays like Passover they splurged for brisket- a really lousy cut of meat?). The result of this condition is that no part of the bird was wasted. This is often referred to as the “snout to tail” approach to food as championed by Anthony Bourdain and others. Since I had just purchased two whole chickens and broken them down into parts for other meals I was faced with the question of what to do with the carcasses. Continue reading