I remember my grandmother telling me how her parent’s used to eat chicken fat on bread but being a product of the 80’s I grew up more accustomed to hydrogenated margarine because that was clearly healthier than rendered chicken fat.

Fortunately, the tide has turned again and natural fats (and fat in general) and whole foods are “healthy” again so this post has no shame.

You can keep the chicken fat (Shmaltz) in the fridge for several months. It is nice to put in rice and cook vegetables in. The Gribenes (the crispy skin) are good in a salad, sprinkled on mashed potatoes, eaten as is.

You can do it like the turn of the 20th century Jews and spread the cold chicken fat on bread and sprinkle the gribines on top like an open face sandwich.

I adapted this recipe from one of fave books The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden.


Obtain an obscene amount of fatty chicken leg quarters. This is a good recipe for people who buy in bulk and freeze. I put all the chicken in the sink and took poultry shears and collected all the excess skin and used my fingers to pry off any fat.



Chop up any large pieces of skin and put all the collected skin and fat in a saucepan and simmer for an hour or two until its brown and crispy. Stir often. Then strain out the gribines from the fat. Sprinkle salt on the gribines.


And here is how it looks after it is chilled


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