We all strive to eat a healthy and balanced diet. But if you or anyone in your family is like me or Alex, and you occasionally sin by eating some of the skin from a deliciously crispy roasted chicken, then this recipe is a must for you.
I learned to make gribenes, from my Mother-In-Law, Dora Schmidt, and I have taken them to another level. I make them just occasionally at the end of a long workweek when the family gathers for Shabbat Dinner. This is the time when we all loosen the reins and indulge. I prepare this recipe as a decadent appetizer, in the form of a tortilla chip and guacamole, topped with crunchy gribenes and golden onions.
Gribenes or grieven (Yiddish: גריבענעס, [ˈɡrɪbənəs], “scraps”) are crisp chicken or goose skin cracklings with fried onions, a kosher food somewhat similar to pork rinds. Gribenes are a byproduct of schmaltz preparation.
The skin from one whole chicken (I take the skin from the chicken that I make my chicken soup with)
1/2 onion chopped
Cut the chicken skin into small pieces (about 1/4 inch) with kitchen shears, and place them in a shallow non-stick frying pan.
Over a medium flame, Continuously stir with a wooden spoon until the pieces are evenly cooked to a crispy golden brown (about 20 minutes)
Remove the gribenes from the pan, Leaving about a Tablespoon of the schmaltz ( chicken fat) in the pan, drain the rest of the schmaltz and pour it into a glass jar, and reserve it in the freezer for future use (such as in the making of tamales).
Add the 1/2 onion to the still hot schmaltz left in the frying pan, and allow it to become crispy and golden as well.
There can be many guacamole variations, so any of the below ingredients is optional except for the avocado of course. I have friends who do not like the taste of cilantro, so when they are coming for dinner I avoid using it, in the guacamole. Other friends don’t like spicy food so in this case I avoid using chili pepper. I don’t always add tomato to my guacamole, but for this recipe, I like the flavor and color it gives the dish.
1/2 onion finely diced
1 tomato finely diced
1 Serrano chili pepper finely diced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped
Salt to taste
Mash the avocado and thoroughly mix in all of the other ingredients.
Gribenes and onions
Generously cover the surface of each tortilla chip with about 1 tablespoon of guacamole, top with gribenes and onions and accompany with your favorite Schnapps!