Chicken Schmaltz


Recipe developed by Linda Morel


5- to 6-pound chicken (For a larger yield, ask your butcher for additional chicken skin and fat, which he is likely to have on hand, as many people now purchase skinless chicken.)

Advertisement: The Grande at Chesterfield

Yield: 1 cup of chicken skin and fat (from a 5- to 6-pound chicken), reduces to about 1/2 cup of schmaltz.


Cut off the chicken’s wings and reserve. Slide a sharp knife under the skin on the breast and lift it. With your fingers, pull the skin from the meat. Tear off as much skin as possible in sheets. Place skin on a cutting board. Using the knife, cut away any remaining skin from crevices. Cut off clumps of yellow fat that stick to the meat and place it on the cutting board. (Use the skinned chicken and wings for other purposes, such as chicken soup.)

Cut sheets of skin and fat into 2-inch squares.

Place skin and fat in large deep pot, preferably non-stick. Heat on a medium-low flame, stirring often. Oil will begin oozing from the skin almost immediately. Reduce flame to low and fry for about an hour, until the fat globules melt entirely and there’s nothing left of the skin except cracklings (called gribenes), which are incredibly delicious. Cool chicken fat to room temperature.

Set a fine sieve over a bowl. Pour schmaltz through the sieve. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.