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« Recipe: Schmaltz {Rendered Chicken Fat, flavored with Onion} »

Schmaltz {Rendered Chicken Fat, flavored with Onion}

Adapted from Micheal Ruhlman's The Book of Schmaltz

Yield: 1/2 c Schmaltz and 1/3 c Gribenes


Skin and fat from 8 chicken thighs or 1 lb miscellaneous reserved chicken skin and fat, chopped into small pieces*

1/4 c water

1 Spanish onion, cut into medium dice


Cook the chopped chicken fat and skin in the water to begin rendering at a gentle temperature.

Once the water and moisture in the fat/skin have cooked off, the temperature of the fat will rise above 212 F and browning of the fat/skin will begin. 

When the skin is lightly brown and plenty of fat has been rendered, add the chopped onion.

Be careful not to overcook the fat. It should remain clear and yellow, not brown with an overly roasted taste.

The browned skin and onion, called gribenes, are a delicious by-product of making smaltz.

Strain the fat and reserve the gribenes. The schmaltz is ready to use or it can be refrigerated up to a week. Alternatively, it can be frozen. The gribenes should also be refrigerated or frozen.

*Chopping chicken fat is a slippery business. Freezing the skin/fat before chopping makes for a much easier time.