How to Make Schmaltz and Gribenes

how to make schmaltz

So enough with the healthy New Year’s recipes already- let’s make some fat! I have had some questions on the ole WJWE Facebook page regarding schmaltz. What is it and what the heck do I do with it? In short, schmaltz is rendered chicken fat that you get from slowly cooking chicken fat and skin. It’s super flavorful, and just oh so very Jew-y! It makes the perfect latkes, chopped liver or matzo ball. Scroll down to the bottom for some uses for schmaltz and tune back in for the next few weeks for more tasty schmaltz creations!

Side note, if your New Year’s resolution involves winning the Lotto (and whose doesn’t?) make sure to check out this awesome contest hosted by Manischewitz. The finalists get a trip to New Jersey (the sunshine state!) and the winner gets $25,000! I’m definitely entering! Anyhoo, onto the schmaltz. Here is what you need:

schmaltz

Oh yeah. That’s pure chicken fat and skin cut into bite-sized pieces (because who doesn’t want to take a big ole bite?) The main question I had about this magical Jew potion, is where do you get a pound or so of chicken fat? I initially asked my local butcher, but he says most supermarkets do not trim their own chicken due to “sanitation” or “salmonela scares”. Lame. So I called up our local Mexican market, and even they did not trim their own chicken. Hmff. I was about to call up some farmer’s markets when I had the epiphany to just buy the fattiest cut of chicken at the supermarket. I ended up getting super fatty chicken back at $0.74 per pound! Score! And it was organic! Happy day indeed. Mine came in at just under a pound.

schmaltz

Here’s where the magic happens. Put the skin, fat and onions in a large saute pan over low heat. The fat will begin to melt immediately and the onions with start to sweat. Stir every so often with a rubber spatula. Once the fat melts and the skin begins to brown, your schmaltz is ready! This took me about 15-20 minutes. Drain the schmaltz into a cup and it is ready to use. Cue the angels singing!

schmaltz

Now to make the gribenes, which are fried chicken skin. Sort of like Jewish bacon if you will! I’m going to cook up some tasty recipes with this fried delight as well. Put the skin and onions back in the pan with salt after draining the schmaltz and cook over medium-low until the skin is crispy and the onions and caramelized. Make sure you skin is in very small pieces or the onions will be ready before it is crisp. Season with more salt to taste.

schmaltz

Ta da!

It may be your new go-to after school snack. Gushers be gone!

 

How to Make Schmaltz and Gribenes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
How to make schmaltz- the champagne of fat!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Jewish
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • About 1 pound chicken fat and skin, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Instructions
  1. Put the skin, fat and onions in a large saute pan over low heat. The fat will begin to melt immediately and the onions with start to sweat. Stir every so often with a rubber spatula. Once the fat melts and the skin begins to brown, your schmaltz is ready! This took me about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain the schmaltz into a cup and it is ready to use.
  3. To make gribenes, put the skin and onions back in the pan with salt after draining the schmaltz and cook over medium-low until the skin is crispy and the onions and caramelized. About 10 more minutes. Make sure you skin is in very small pieces or the onions will be ready before it is crisp. Finish with more salt if needed.

 

Recipes for schmaltz:

Mexican Potato Latkes (fried in schmaltz)

Potato Latkes Eggs Benedict (fried in schmaltz)

Sweet Potato Latkes (fried in schmaltz)

Matzah Ball Soup

Chopped Liver

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Comments

  1. GoGo LaTata says

    Do you have any Nutrition Data on schmaltz? I can figure it out for the chicken skins and onions (I haven’t gribenes in FORE’ER!), but none of my books has any data on chicken fat. Thanks for your help!

  2. says

    I just made some gribenes, and it was incredible. I was debating how to use it, like as a topping for fried rice, but ended up eating it all right away…definitely not a health food by any stretch of the imagination, but it is awesome

  3. Marcee ..... ILLINOIS says

    Ohmygoshes. The nose knows Amy. Honestly, the aromas are still lingering + so amazing (to me) after all these years. Our mom would make gribenes. Not sure if my sibblings even liked them. I sure did! Wasn’t much of a eater as a kid, but this dish (?) always had my attention!

    Being a fairly good cook …. I have never made gribenes. Maybe one day.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Franie Rochkind says

    This is exactly how my momma taught me to make it. We like to mix the onions, schmaltz and grebenes into mashed potatoes. Can’t beat it

  5. Kerry Hancock says

    Never will I roast potatoes or anything for that matter without this delicious schmaltz….cardiac ward here I come lol

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