In Northern Europe, cooking oil was scarce, and butter was expensive -- making dairy fat something that families often preferred to sell for added income rather than treat themselves to. And even when margarine did come along, many governments slapped a tax on it to keep it out of reach of ordinary consumers.
Consequently, Chicken Fat was a important source of cooking fat, particularly for those such as Jews who couldn't use pork fat, though it was used even by those that could use pork - you wouldn't waste any valuable cooking fat, whatever animal it came from.
To make: You can remove large pieces of fat from inside the chicken, though that may make the bird drier if you're roasting it. Still, in a normal home, you're only going to have chicken fat in small amounts at a time -- you will only get, tops, 1 to 2 oz (30 to 60 g) of fat from inside a bird (though you can also ask your butcher for chicken fat.) Consequently, you may wish to freeze it in a container until you have enough to bother rendering.
You can render the fat in a frying pan; it will take 10 minutes maximum for the fat to render. Drain your rendered fat off as you go to help prevent a lot of splattering. All the leftover, unrendered bits are called "griveners" or "griebens", which many people love, especially salted. In fact, some people even purposefully add pieces of chicken skin in with the fat that is being rendered, to create more "griebens", which are in effect chicken skin cracklings.
Fat skimmed from chicken broth or soup will have some water in it, but you can steam that off by heating the fat in a saucepan for a few minutes.
The smoke point of chicken fat is 375 F / 190 C.
Some swear by Chicken Fat for making pie crusts from.
2 parts margarine or shortening and 1 part oil.
High in linoleic acid, which is good for fur and coats on pets.
* PointsPlus™ calculated by CooksInfo.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
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