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Mar 31, 2010 11:15 AM

"True" schmaltz vs. fat from chicken soup?

As I understand it, "true" schmaltz is made from saving all the little pieces of chicken fat and skin you can, then cooking them down to render the fat. The liquid fat, which will become solid when chilled, is the schmaltz, and the crispy bits that are left are the gribbens. Right?

Although I've never done that, I do make homemade chicken soup often, and I always refrigerate it then take off the solidified fat at the top and save it for my matzo balls, etc. Is this the same as schmaltz which has been rendered? Or does rendered fat have more flavor because of being essentially fried rather than boiled? I think that sometimes, when people render schmaltz, they put onions in for extra flavor, too. So, I've always wondered -- Is my chicken soup fat schmaltz? Or not really? Can I use it the same way as schmaltz?

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  1. For the first time I made a potato kugel and after the first half hour, I smeared the fat from the chicken soup on top. The top browned beautifully and the potato kugel was very crisp.

    1. it is scmaltz but will have a different flavor profile - scmaltz ade th eclassic way is very oniony - while the scmaltz from chicken soup will atste like chicken soup -

      1. There is nothing more tasty (and deadly) as the real thing. I have not had it in decades since my Mom, O"H, made it, gribinis and all.