Rendered Chicken Fat
This recipe is frugal cooking at its best, turning unwanted chicken skin to liquid gold (rendered chicken fat) and crispy chicken skin crackle. I used the chicken oil as the killer ingredient for delicious Hainanese chicken rice and ginger sauce. Check out the accompanying step-by-step photos in this post.
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Uses of Chicken Fat:
- Samsui Ginger Sauce Recipe
- Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe
- Rice Cooker Chicken Rice Recipe
- Chinese Stir-fries
More Home-made Oil Recipes:
This rendered chicken oil is not to be confused with “schmaltz”, a similar recipe which requires water in the rendering process (similar to how I made rendered duck fat). This recipe uses only chicken skin (no water). I learnt this from my home economics class in secondary school during our chicken rice cooking class.
As for the crispy chicken fat cracklings, they make the best snack! I could not resist snacking on them while I was photographing :P
Note: In this tutorial I am using about 250 grams of chicken skin, as I did not hoard much chicken skin for the past 3 months. Ideally, I would prefer to make this with double or triple the amount of chicken skin to make my time worthwhile. But this recipe will work for any amount of chicken skin, as long as they don’t overcrowd your wok pan.
Whenever there is unwanted chicken skin, I’ll set them aside and freeze them. I use mainly the thigh or breast skin, discarding the skin near the chicken butt. Pull out any stray hair on the skin using kitchen tweezers. This is the amount of chicken skin I have for this tutorial. It is frozen so I thaw the package before use. P.S. Please let me know via comments if you know where to buy chicken skin in Singapore. I saw it a few years ago at Sheng Siong (Bedok Interchange), but I have not seen it since.
Cut chicken fat to uniform pieces according to the size you like (see rendered duck fat tutorial for reference). This time round, I got lazy and I used the chicken skin pieces (big and small) as they are. After cleaning and patting the chicken skin dry with paper towel, spread them out in a wok pan. Heat up the wok to medium.
As the wok heats up, the chicken skin will start to render out some oil and in turn cook in its own oil. Every now and then, stir with a spatula to prevent the skin from sticking to the pan.
Tip: The timings in this post are just an indication. Don’t use time as a measurement since every stove has a different heat. Instead, observe the colour of the chicken cracklings. They are done when the skin become golden without burning.
After 10 minutes, the chicken fat is starting to become golden. If you are using large pieces like mine, flip each piece over now and then so that they can get in contact with the oil.
At the 20-minute mark, they are almost done. Don’t take your eyes off the wok. They may burn anytime.
At exactly 23 minutes for me, they are done. The chicken skin has turned to a crispy golden crackle and all its oil has been rendered out. Blot excess oil by placing the crispy chicken skin on kitchen paper towels or tempura paper. Store in an airtight container. Store the chicken oil in a non-reactive bottle once it has cooled. Rendered chicken fat keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, or freezer for months (indefinitely). The golden liquid oil solidifies when chilled, but return to its liquid state once heated in a pan. And if you are in Singapore, I don’t recommend keeping the oil at room temperature for more than 2-3 days, as our climate is humid and the oil may turn rancid.