Showing posts with label Shlimazl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shlimazl. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2014

SCHMALTZ

Have you heard of the word 'schmaltz?'...it is an old Yiddish word for 'rendered chicken fat'. Back in the old days in Eastern Europe when margarine wasn't invented (which is so unhealthy)...butter, which was too expensive to cook with, you could make this natural, humble 'liquid gold' just from slowly cooking down the skins, and the fat part from the chicken, adding some chopped, or sliced onions (I also added a couple garlic cloves, sliced thin) You couldn't imagine a Jewish household not having their freshly made schmaltz. The best part of the skin from the chicken to render fat is the breast, and using a bunch of backbones which you can buy for very cheap price at the grocery supermarket.
There's so many uses of this fine homemade schmaltz...matzo balls, potato latkes, chopped liver, roasted chicken, and even the American southern dishes; hush puppies, corn bread, and for pie crusts...just to name a few. It may seem like an odd word...SCHMALTZ; which can also describe something expensive, or maybe something 'corny'! Old Yiddish words, used in phrases are totally hilarious!

You probably are familiar with some of these Yiddish words.
KLUTZ= an awkward person.
OY-VEY= how terrible things are.
SCHMUCK=jerk
SCHMOOZ= (is to kiss up to somebody)
SHLEP= carry, or dragging something
NUDNIK= a pest, an annoying person

SHLEMIL= dummy, loser *
SHLIMAZL=unlucky person*
Ever wondered about the 'theme song' of the beloved and funny show from the seventies what they meant?...shlemil, and shlimazl...still love the re-runs!

Chicken Schmaltz
(my way) by:Elisabeth

2 lbs. chicken backs, and roughly cut up
skins
1 large onion, cut into thick slices
2 cloves garlic, sliced

Place the chicken backs, and skins in a large heavy skillet. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and on low heat start simmering the chicken backs and skin. After about 10 minutes, push the pieces aside, and add the onion and the garlic.

Continue to cook for another 45 minutes on low
heat. Keep stirring often. You will see the golden liquid and the chicken and onion slightly colored. Do not get it too dark. As you can see in the photo, the onion has a nice golden color to it. Remove the chicken backs to a container (do not discard) You can make a nice chicken broth with the remaining pieces. Discard the onions, and strain the schmaltz through a fine sieve into a container, or jar with a tight fitting lid. Cool, cover, and refrigerate until needed.