Schmaltz and Grebenes

The Rendering of Chicken or Goose Fat to Create Delicious Cracklings.

A real old fashioned traditional recipe from Jewish Cookery by Leah W. Leonard

  • Cut fatty fowl skin and other fat clusters into 1-inch cubes or strips
  • Cover with cold water
  • Cook in a heavy kettle or frying pan, covered for 20 to 25 minutes
  • Uncover and continue cooking over reduced heat until the water has evaporated and only the melted or cooked fat and cracklings remain
  • Add diced onions, allowing one onion to each cupful of unrendered fat
  • Add a clove of garlic for flavor

Method
When rendering a large quantity of fat, the addition of a few slices of raw potato will help clarify it.

The fat is done when the onion is nicely browned, also the potato, and the cracklings are dry and crisp.

Let cool slightly before straining to separate cracklings from clarified schmaltz (fat).

Cracklings are called greben or grebenes and make excellent additions to mashed potatoes. Grebenes also enhance chopped liver dishes.

Cracklings have been called Jewish Popcorn.

To store separate grebenes from rendered schmaltz and cover with ¼ inch layer of melted rendered fat in glass jars or glazed stoneware.

Rendered schmaltz as well as greben can be stored for months in glass containers or glazed covered crocks, in a cool place.

Goose schmaltz for Passover use is generally prepared months in advance.

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