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!

josh-kulp-headshot_rachel-brown-kulp-creditChefs Josh Kulp & Christine Cikowski Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Serves 4-6

Schmaltz Smashed Potatoes:

  • 3 pounds red potatoes
  • 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • 1⁄4 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chicken fat gravy
  • lemon zest

In a pot filled with cold water, add potatoes and a handful of salt and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes 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:

  • 1⁄3 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat)
  • 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably made with leftover chicken bones)
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

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)

  • 3 cups chicken skin and fat, chopped into small pieces 1⁄2 cup water

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

  • 6 chicken backs with skin

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

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds roasted chicken backs or bones 1 onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns

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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Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Chefs Coast to Coast. 

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