You can substitute rendered fat for oil and butter for a meaty and rich taste in many recipes. Rendered chicken fat, also known as schmaltz in Yiddish, is a crucial ingredient in Jewish dishes. You can make your own rendered fat at home by slowly cooking chicken fat, onions and water over medium-low heat for an hour. Strain and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This is a great way to avoid waste and save money. Rendered chicken fat has a similar texture to butter.
Using rendered chicken fat to cook potatoes takes fried potatoes to a new, tastier, crisper level. Replace cooking oil with rendered chicken fat when cooking potatoes. Place 2 tbsp. in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced potatoes. Cook until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Many Jewish homes use rendered chicken fat as a cooking fat for potato latkes (pancakes), a staple in Jewish cooking.
Sautéeing your vegetables in rendered chicken fat will give the side dish a nice gloss and meaty flavor. Instead of heating butter or olive oil in a pan, add 1 tbsp. to the pan. Add vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and fennel. Many chefs make a rich side dish with rendered chicken fat, such as sautéed corn kernels, red onion and cherry tomatoes to serve alongside pan-seared scallops.
Using rendered chicken fat in a roux will create a meatier flavor than using butter. A roux is made from browned butter and flour. The roux acts as a thickening agent for sauces. Substitute the rendered chicken fat for butter. Use the roux for white sauces and meat gravy. For a white sauce, add hot cream and milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Most cooks use rendered chicken fat to cook chopped liver. Melt 1/2 cup of rendered chicken fat in a heavy pan. Sauté chicken livers in batches over medium-high heat. Cook until pink inside. In the same pan, sauté onions and add white wine to deglaze the pan. Place the sauce and chicken livers to the bowl of a food processor. Add eggs, parsley time, black pepper, cayenne and 3 tbsp. of rendered fat to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Serve over matzo crackers or unleavened bread.
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