Schmaltz is traditionally made by slowly cooking chicken fat and skin bits with diced onion (the crisped-up solids are gribenes, and are served separately). I don’t really have time to snip up the skin and cook it carefully on the stovetop, but I do love using chicken fat for cooking, so this is my compromise. Incidentally, I’ve tried adding diced onion to the cooker along with the chicken trimmings, and I wouldn’t recommend it: The onion burns too easily.
Several of my slow cooker recipes here call for chicken pieces still on the bone but without the skin (which turns rubbery and unappealing in the slow cooker), or for well-trimmed boneless, skinless thighs; save up the skin and fat trimmings in a bag in the freezer, and when you have a pound or two collected, dump them in the cooker for the day.
Put the skin and fat in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low, stirring every couple of hours, for 6 to 8 hours, until the skin is golden and crisp. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof container and let cool, then cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to several weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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