Schmaltz (Rendered Chicken Fat) Recipe

Daniel Gritzer

A staple of Ashkenazi Jewish cooking, schmaltz made from rendered chicken fat takes some time, but pays off by adding tons of flavor to dishes like chopped liver and matzo balls. You can buy chicken fat from some butchers, or save up scraps in your freezer until you have enough.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 60 mins
Makes: 1 cup

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  • 3/4 pound chicken fat and skin, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken fat and skin with just enough water to barely cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then lower heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until fat has mostly rendered, water has cooked off, and chicken skin and fat pieces are small, browned, and starting to crisp, about 50 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

  2. Strain rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) through fine mesh strainer and use as directed. Reserve crisped chicken skin, fat, and onion (called gribenes in Yiddish), if desired (they can be eaten as a snack with salt, or stirred into chopped liver).

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