← Back to Search Results
frying Jewish
Gribenes

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

From Hinda Rabinowitz

Mama Hinda rendered her own schmaltz (chicken fat) to use in cooking. The by-product, gribenes (skin cracklings), was the Pringles of her day, fought over and devoured by the children. An old Yiddish proverb goes “Meshugeneh genz, meshugeneh gribenes”–“Crazy geese, crazy cracklings” (or “Like parents, like children”).

A while ago I removed from the freezer what I thought was a large bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. When it had defrosted, I discovered that they were chicken breasts all right, but not skinless. So I removed all the skin and fat, and when I was through, there was a huge mound of the stuff. Mama Hinda’s frying pan happened to be in the sink. I looked at that mound and I looked at that frying pan, and I was seized by an irresistible urge to render. I communed with Mama Hinda all afternoon as the smell of slow-cooked onions percolating in chicken fat perfumed my kitchen.

There is nothing sacred about the proportions here. C’mon–who’s gonna weigh or measure fat? I freeze the fat and loose skin, and when I have a nice pile and the mood hits, I render away.

Yield: Makes about 1½ cups schmalz: about 1 cup gribenes

Ingredients

  • About 1½ pounds (3 cups) chicken fat and skin (trimmed of meat), cut into fine pieces
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • Kosher (coarse) salt

Directions

1. Pour 2 tablespoons water in a large, heavy skillet, then add the chicken fat and skin. (The steam from the water as it evaporates will prevent the skin from burning when it comes in contact with the hot pan.) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often to prevent sticking, until all the fat has rendered, about 20 minutes.

2. Add the onion and continue simmering until the skin and onion are brown and crisp, 20 to 30 minutes. As the onion and skin begin to brown, stir more often to prevent the skin pieces from sticking to the pan.

3. Remove the skillet from the heat and for safety’s sake, allow the mixture to cool to lukewarm in the skillet. (If you’re not going to listen to me, at least warm the jars before you pour the hot fat into them.)

4. Strain the schmaltz through a fine-mesh strainer into clean glass jars, and cover the jars tightly. Don’t be alarmed if there are tiny dark particles that sink to the bottom. The schmaltz will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks and in the freezer for months. Use the fat in place of oil for frying anything from onins to liver--and especially in place of oil for matzoh balls.

5. Drain the gribenes on paper towels and sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve the gribenes plain as a snack or schmeared on bread, or use it in chopped liver, matzoh balls, or mashed potatoes.

Notes

It is much easier to cut poultry skin with kitchen shears than with even the sharpest knife. Be sure the skin is finely cut. Larger pieces take too long to brown and the onions could burn.


© 1999, 2003, 2007 Judy Bart Kancigor
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 16 servings, and includes 1 teaspoon of added salt.

378kcal (19%)
0mg (0%)
0mg (0%)
0mcg RAE (0%)
0mg
0mg
0g
0g
0g
0g
36mg (12%)
145mg (6%)
13g (63%)
42g (64%)
0mg (0%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

baked-explorations Baked Explorations
by Matt Lewis
west-coast-cooking West Coast Cooking
by Greg Atkinson
living-raw-food Living Raw Food
by Sarma Melngailis
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
usa-cookbook U.S.A. Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
cook-with-jamie Cook with Jamie
by Jamie Oliver
Already a member? Sign in here
Close_overlay

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
Spinner
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Close_overlay

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?