How To Easily Render Fat From Chicken In The Microwave

Rendered chicken fat
Rendered chicken fat - Vikif/Getty Images

There isn't much that a microwave can't do. While the appliance is often reserved for warming leftovers and defrosting meats, it can also pull off some pretty impressive culinary feats like rendering chicken fat. Despite being an unconventional way of obtaining the liquid gold, microwaving is a game-changer. Since producing the fat (also known as schmaltz) usually requires a watchful eye and constant stirring, using a microwave simplifies the process. For a less time-consuming and laborious way to render poultry fat, let your microwave take charge.

To become a microwaving, fat-rendering pro at home, start with the right appliance. Any standard microwave (but even a toaster oven!) will guarantee efficiency, ease, and convenience. Additionally, it's ideal to use the right primary materials, which means finally putting that collection of fatty poultry skins and scraps sitting in your freezer to good use. Just remember that because fat renders better when it's cut into smaller pieces, skins should be chopped or ground as finely as possible.

As for how to execute the process, add the fatty bits of chicken into a microwave-safe container, spacing them evenly apart. Then, use a low power setting so that the fat can be fully rendered without burning. Likewise, don't forget to flip pieces halfway through cooking for optimal rendering. After about 20 to 25 minutes, the skins and scraps should produce a generous amount of liquid fat along with some crispy cracklings. But, before using the schmaltz, there are a few things to keep in mind.

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Storing And Using Your Homemade Schmaltz

Raw chicken meat on cutting board
Raw chicken meat on cutting board - Bit245/Getty Images

Freshly rendered chicken fat (and its cooking vessel) will be extremely hot, so be sure to exercise caution when handling the just-made schmaltz. While the flavorful fat can be used right away, it can also be cooled and stored in the fridge. As long as it's been strained of its cracklings, it will keep in an airtight jar for about a week. Alternatively, shelf life can be extended by freezing the fat. We recommend pouring the liquid gold into an ice cube tray to easily portion schmaltz for future use.

Like a cooking fat with buttery, toasty richness and undertones of umami, rendered chicken fat lends itself wonderfully to any savory recipe. Use chunks of chilled schmaltz to make a flaky crust for a meat pie, or as the secret ingredient in savory biscuits. Otherwise, the chicken fat can elevate simple sauteed vegetables or anything from fried latkes to grilled cheese sandwiches or chicken katsu. Schmaltz can also be melted and brushed over pizza crusts, much like it can be stirred into mashed potatoes for added complexity. For a unique way to incorporate the fat into a recipe, use it as the base for sauces like an umami-laden aioli.

Given the ease of rendering chicken fat in the microwave, we don't blame you if you never go back to stovetop or oven-based methods. Convenient and foolproof, working with a microwave allows you to enjoy homemade schmaltz without the hassle!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.