This week, I chatted with the co-founders of Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago. We discussed their story and how they met, how they developed the concept for a secret Supper Club that has grown to thousands of members, and why they put a serious effort into sourcing the best ingredients and visiting the farms themselves.
They also shared their recipe for Schmaltz Smashed Potatoes with Chicken Fat Gravy--perfect for the holidays!
Chefs Josh Kulp & Christine Cikowski Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Schmaltz Smashed Potatoes:
In a pot filled with cold water, add potatoes and a handful of salt and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until cook until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
While the potatoes boil, in a separate pot, combine the heavy cream, schmaltz, and butter over low heat and keep warm.
When the potatoes are fork tender, drain the potatoes and using a potato masher or a sturdy large fork, smash the potatoes in the large mixing bowl. If smoother potatoes are desired, pass the potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill.
Add the warm cream, schmaltz and butter mixture to the potatoes and use a spatula to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately topped with chicken fat gravy and a fresh grate of lemon zest.
Chicken Fat Gravy:
In a medium pot over medium heat, add the schmaltz. Add the flour and mix well and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add the chicken stock while whisking to combine. Bring the gravy to a simmer
and continue stirring until the gravy has thickened slightly. Add the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.
Schmaltz (Rendered Chicken Fat)
Combine the skin and fat with the water in a small pot and set over medium low heat. Stir occasionally and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour. Increase temperature to medium and continue to cook the mixture until the pieces of skin and fat have browned slightly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain the mixture over a bowl. The fat in the bowl is about 2⁄3 of a cup of ready to use schmaltz. The crispy bits in the strainer are called gribenes (or chicken cracklings) and are delicious in their own right as a snack or sprinkled over mashed potatoes or in chicken salad.
Alternate Schmaltz Technique
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Place the chicken backs on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Collect the schmaltz from the roasting pan and use the roasted backs to make a chicken stock.
Simple Roasted Chicken Stock
Combine the water and bones in a pot and bring to a bare simmer for 2-3 hours. Skim any scum that forms on top of the stock. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and peppercorns. Continue to cook for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and discard the solids.
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