HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


“It’s the Jewish bacon,”

"bulk orders for (chicken) skins from chefs have increased to two or three a week from near zero a year ago.
"“A year ago it wasn’t even on our map,” Mr. Gold said. “We would have thought a chef was crazy.”"

I try my best to eat healthy, but this is one indulgence I can't resist. You?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Love it. Enjoyed the NYT article as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MGZ

      Wrap the skin around a liver and pan fry 'til crisy. Now, that's fine, indeed.

    2. Guess this paves the comeback trail for schmaltz. Lipitor's off-patent, too.

      1. When the skin has been rendered of most fat it's not that unhealthy. Not "health food" but not so bad for you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: scubadoo97

          According to my dad, grandma would use chicken fat sometimes when making cookies for the holidays back in Milwaukee. Never asked where she learned to do that.

        2. Absolutely the best part of the chicken.

          1. That was a very cute pic of the chicken, too. Not something I would have thought possible.

            1. D'Artagnon sells a "Duck Bacon" & a "Duck Prociutto (sp)" that are also pretty good. Pricey, but nice if you want something bacony without using a pork product.

              1. I first heard about this use of chicken skins last year when Ilan Hall used them in his LA restaurant to make kosher BLTs. I tried using crispy chicken skins like this and found them to be really tasty.

                1. Are you kidding "gribenes" is the best thing around. People stopped wanting to make it, but I still make it about twice a year. Get your butcher to give you the chicken skin, cut in little pieces, start rendering with a little water and let the fat melt and the skin start to brown, add diced onions and let it continue browning to a nice darke brown and crispy. Drain the skin and onions on a paper towel and put the liquid through a sieve. You have a great gribenes and schmaltz to cook with. Delish!

                  Can also put in chopped liver.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: paprkutr

                    That sounds really good. The technique I used was to leave the chicken thigh skins intact, season with s/p, spread them out on parchment paper on a 1/2 sheet pan and roast them in the oven until crisp.

                    1. re: John E.

                      But didn't that just make crispy chicken with skin? This is no chicken, just fried skin like pork rinds. Some people like to eat it hot, but we like to eat it cold. My husband would never eat it, and my family loved it. Then one day he said he would try it and loved them. It's just like eating fried chicken but without the chicken. A lot of people then cook with the schmaltz, or my dad loved to spread it fresh rye with onions.

                      1. re: paprkutr

                        No it doesn't makes crispy chicken with the skin. It makes crispy ckicken skin with the skin not cut up but still intact, not connected. The skins are spread out flat on the sheet pan and roasted until crispy. This is how Hall does it for his GLTs.

                    2. re: paprkutr

                      Also great stuffed inside matzah balls, but they almost never last that long in our house. The longer and slower you can cook out the water, the more fat (schmaltz) you'll render out and the crisper the gribenes will be. Like paprkutr, gribenes is a once or twice a year treat for us, one that harkens back to fond memories of our grandmothers. It's really more than a little funny to see this Old World staple become a "hot" new ingredient.

                      1. Am I missing something? Sounds like OP is referring to an article...but I see no link?

                        15 Replies
                          1. re: Rmis32

                            That is one sexy chicken!

                            If I didn't keep a jar of jewish bacon in my frig at all times my husband wouldn't speak to me. He spreads it on toasted marble rye every Sunday morning for breakfast with his coffee and paper.

                            1. re: Rmis32

                              Reminds me a little too much of a guy I once dated ;-)

                                1. re: Rmis32

                                  OK. Something about the chest and posture made me think of it.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Translating that "pose" to guy-terms suggests to me he either had a great physique and didn't mind showing it off; or *thought* he had a great physique and tried to puff his chest out about it...Yes? No? Which one was it, or something else? ;-)

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      The pose reminded me of the pinups in the '40s and the paintings done on the side of WWII aircraft.

                                      1. re: John E.

                                        Post-coital positioning, it seemed to me.

                                      2. re: buttertart

                                        I guess it also reminds me of an old flame. She had a great body, but no head.

                                        1. re: Rmis32

                                          Gotta have head.
                                          I did schmaltz last Thursday with warm chicken livers, um um good.
                                          I'm developing a good touch with broiled duck skin, to my delight and surprise, I just polished off half of a roast muscovy and I'm looking for a killer duck pate recipe. I have 2 quarts of duck livers and endless duck fat. Recipes vary so much, I want a simple can't fail that even I can navigate? Thanks.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            Chicken Faux Gras: Diary of a Foodie : gourmet.com

                                            I made this faux gras which used chicken livers. I can only imagine how good it would be with duck livers

                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                              I got an error on the link; bummer. Seems they have Changed Partners, with apologies to Stephen Stills.
                                              no troubles, just bubbles, mon...

                                                1. re: Rmis32

                                                  Got the link, thanks. This is where I get conflicted -some recipes are loaded with brandy, madeiras, etc,. yours and many others have none, but are heavily cream - butter based, with all that duck fat?
                                                  I like the ramekin idea, I need to freeze a lot of whatever I make, because it will be a large batch and it seems like it will take forever for me to accumulate 12 friends in Dallas.

                              1. Two nights ago, I noticed with glee the excessive amount of skin left on each of the four chicken thighs I was about to roast for dinner. Having planned to saute some spinach as an accompaniment, I carefully trimmed enough skin from the thighs to leave them covered but also result in several nice additional "slices."

                                The slices were gently rendered, then browned in a pan. I removed the crispy skins, salted them, and snacked, invoking "chef's privilege." A great deal of chopped garlic was added to the remaining fat, in which the spinach was sauteed. Delicious.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: MGZ

                                  I often like to do chicken thighs on my smoker and skin them and bone them before tossing in the smoker. The bones go into a bag of chicken bones for stock and the skins mostly get tossed. Quite a while back I looked at a mess of skins and decided to fry them up. To make the process easier for me I used my knife and scraped out the majority of the fat from under the skin. When I laid them in a hot pan they did render a bit of fat but most had already been removed. When no more fat seemed to be rendered they were put on a rack to drain and dry. They were paper thin and crisp.

                                  I'm not so sure they have that much fat in them compared to other dishes that contain a fair amount of animal fat. Certainly sound more fattening than they are

                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                    Thanks for helping trigger my idea for my next skin snack. I'm thinking of simply grill-roasting a bunch of skins that have been liberally rubbed. Finsh them over the heat with a bit of barbecue sauce. Maybe use some nice cherry wood and lump coals for the fuel. Crunchy, spicy, sweet, fatty, smokey, it's got it all.

                                2. As a closet gribenes-lover, I am delighted to be able to come out into the sun! Once a year when making matzoh balls, I render chicken for the schmaltz and um-yum those gribenes.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Discerning1

                                    Gribenes have to be God's gift. And I'd much rather consume my fat that way than with sweets. I'm not a fan of turkey but I do tend to haunt the kitchen during Thanksgiving cleanup to grab lots of skin that the fat-fastidious leave behind. On the platter, I mean!
                                    Oh my, I haven't had gribenes for ages. My Bobbe always did them with chopped onions in the pan, too. Why, oh why, did I buy skinless boneless today?!