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Chicken Fat

photo taken by In Praise of Sardines, on December 7, 2005, CC licensing

To prepare two of our three inter-related classic recipes, you must start with perfect Chicken Fat.

Check the fat to see that nothing green is in it (mine was perfect, and fresh - no odor at all). I managed to put together a pound of chicken fat for this.

Put the chicken fat with a sliced onion in a pan. Use lowest flame. Do not hurry. Let the fat melt, it will become a golden liquid, except for the pieces of skin, fat and onions that will turn a nutty brown.

Season with salt and pepper.

Strain into a jar that has a tight-fitting lid, cool on the countertop for a while, and place in the fridge. The Gribbenes (the crunchy stuff left over from the melted chicken fat) and onions have stayed behind in your strainer, so put them into a dish, add some salt, and-- just don't tell your doctor-- enjoy the heartburn and the memories. I have been told that if you hold a plate of Gribbines up to your ear, you can hear Hester Street.

Once the fat has congealed into a velvety translucent solid, you can proceed to make matzoh balls as well as chopped chicken liver.

Sephardic or Askhenazi: 

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