Chicharrones are off limits for traditional Jews — pork is not kosher. But that doesn’t mean hungry Judios have to go through life without delicious fried cracklings of their own — they chow down on a crispy fried chicken skin preparation called gribeñes.
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.
“I learned to make gribenes, from my Mother-In-Law, Dora Schmidt,” Chilanga Susan Schmidt writes on her Mexican-Jewsh blog, “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 gribeñes and golden onions.”
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.