Schmaltz and Gribenes

Locale: Ashkenazi

Source: Jeffrey Yoskowitz/Liz Alpern, The Gefilte Manifesto [p. 35]



  • 1 c poultry fat and/or poultry skin, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/4 c water (optional)
  • 1 small onion, sliced (optional)


  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the poultry fat and/or skin and 1/4 cup water (if using) and set the pan over low heat. Once a thin layer of liquid fat has collected on the bottom of the pan, add the onion (if using). Increase heat to medium-low and cook for 45-90 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning or browning.

  2. When skin and onions turn a bit brown, strain the fat (schmaltz), and discard the onions. Heat oven to 400F. Place the skins on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 7-10 minutes, until puffy and crispy.


  1. I collected skin and fat from four chicken thighs, plus a small amount of fat trimmed from the whole chicken I cut up and browned for Crispy Chicken With Tsimmes. I consulted another recipe, and roughly followed it from memory, so my procedure was different: I used a nonstick pan; no water; I added the onion after draining most of the schmaltz, and crisped it in the pan along with the chicken skin, so I never bothered with the oven step. The recipe here treats the water and onion as aids in flavoring and clarifying the schmaltz, whereas the recipe I followed made the onion part of the gribenes. This wasn't an essential part of the meal -- more like a side-experiment. I think I used a couple spoonfuls of the schmaltz in another recipe, but that was more because it was handy than by plan. I served the gribenes as a side dish, adding a dash of salt. They weren't very popular, but I thought the cold leftovers delicious. I boiled the thighs, then used the meat and stock the next day for chicken and biscuits. I'll use the schmaltz for some future project.


  1. 2017-10-06: