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Schmaltz with Gribenes

Schmaltz is rendered poultry fat, in this case made from chicken, while gribenes are its crispy, crackling-like byproduct that comes from bits of chicken skin. The key to this recipe is to go low and slow: You want the fat to cook gently and thoroughly so it renders completely without burning. Some would argue that the onion is mandatory and not optional, but if you plan to use the schmaltz for very delicate recipes, or sweet recipes (chilled schmaltz works wonderfully as the fat in pastry dough), feel free to leave it out. Your schmaltz won’t have as deep a flavor, but it will be more versatile. Schmaltz will last for at least a week in the refrigerator and up to six months in the freezer. If your butcher won’t sell it to you, the best way to obtain chicken skin and fat is to collect trimmings in the freezer every time you buy a whole bird. Or you can strip the skin and fat from chicken thighs and save the skinless meat to use in other recipes.



·         ¾ pound chicken skin and fat, diced (use scissors, or freeze then dice with a knife)

·         ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

·         ½ medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (optional)


1.   In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, toss chicken skin and fat with salt and 1 tablespoon water and spread out in one layer. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until fat starts to render and skin begins to turn golden at the edges.

2.   Add onions and cook 45 to 60 minutes longer, tossing occasionally, until chicken skin and onions are crispy and richly browned, but not burned.

3.   Strain through a sieve. Reserve the schmaltz. If you want the gribenes to be crispier, return to the skillet and cook over high heat until done to taste. Drain gribenes on a paper-towel-lined plate.


  • If you’d rather make the schmaltz in the oven (less splatter), skip the water, spread salted skin and fat on a baking sheet, and bake at 350 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes. Add onion after 15 minutes. The timing will be about the same for both methods.



Frying latkes in schmaltz — rendered poultry fat — is the traditional Ashkenazi method, what Central and Eastern European Jews typically did before assimilating in America. It makes for an exceptional latke: crisp-edged and deeply flavored, with a nutty, rich flavor that’s much more complex than if you fry them in flavorless vegetable oil. For the best results, make the batter for these just before frying and serve immediately. Also keep in mind that serving these with the optional sour cream or yogurt makes them unsuitable to anyone keeping kosher. If you’re making schmaltz from scratch for this recipe, do use the onion; it adds a lovely caramelized sweetness to the mix. The gribenes, which are the crispy bits of chicken skin that fry in the rendered fat, make an excellent garnish. (They are usually strained out of store-bought schmaltz; if you don’t have them, just omit them here.)


·         1 large russet potato (about 10 ounces), peeled and quartered lengthwise

·         1 shallot, peeled and halved lengthwise

·         ¼ cup all-purpose flour

·         1 large egg

·         ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

·         ½ teaspoon baking powder

·         ¼ teaspoon black pepper

·          Schmaltz, for frying (see recipe)

·          Sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)

·          Applesauce, for serving (optional)

·          Gribenes, for garnish (optional, see recipe)


1.   Using a food processor with a coarse grating disc, grate potato and shallot. Transfer mixture to a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

2.   Working quickly, transfer mixture to a large bowl. Toss in flour, egg, salt, baking powder and pepper until combined.

3.   Heat a medium skillet over medium-high, then pour in about 1/4 inch of schmaltz. Once schmaltz is hot, drop heaping 1/4 cup measures of batter into pan. Use a spatula to flatten the drops into discs. When edges of latkes are crispy, in 5 to 7 minutes, flip them. Cook until second side is golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes more. If latkes get too brown before they are cooked through, lower the heat. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining batter.

4.   Serve latkes topped with sour cream and applesauce, if you like. Garnish with gribenes if you have them.



Roasting brussels sprouts in schmaltz — rendered poultry fat —gives them an incredibly nutty richness that you can’t get from any other fat. If you are making the schmaltz from scratch for this recipe (and you should if you want the gribenes), do use the onion, which lends an incomparable browned sweetness to the mix. The gribenes, which are the crispy bits of chicken skin that fry in the rendered fat, make an excellent garnish. (They may be strained out of store-bought schmaltz; if you don’t have them, just omit them here.) This recipe goes particularly well with a nice roasted chicken, whose flavor underscores the schmaltz.


·         1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, large ones halved, small ones left whole

·         3 tablespoons schmaltz (see recipe)

·         2 smashed garlic cloves

·         2 bay leaves

·          Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

·         ½ cup gribenes, roughly chopped, for garnish (optional, see recipe)


1.   Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed sheet pan, toss together the brussels sprouts, schmaltz, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Spread everything out into one even layer.

2.   Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the outer brussels sprouts leaves are browned and crisp, tossing halfway through. Garnish with gribenes if you have them.


By: Cindy Grosz



Celebrate our days of oil with treats.  If you are making them pareve or with a meat meal, use a different dipping sauce.


*Yields ~18-20 fritters
1 cup flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
2 cup fresh sweet corn
½ red or orange bell pepper; diced finely
4 scallions; sliced thin
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
Olive oil
Dipping Sauce:
¾ cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt, paprika and cumin to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin.
2. Next, remove corn from cobs using a serrated knife, chop the pepper and slice the onions. Briefly sauté the veggies in olive oil until slightly softened and fragrant. Then, add veggies to the flour mixture, as well as the cilantro, egg, lemon juice and water. Stir mixture with a spatula until well-combined.
3. To cook: heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. When the oil begins to move about the pan freely, the pan is ready. Next, use a large soup spoon to scoop the fritter mixture from the bowl and dollop into the pan. Allow to cook at least 30 seconds or until golden brown and crispy. Then, flip and cook the opposite side.
4. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and allow to drain. Continue frying the rest of the fritters, replenishing oil as needed.

5. Assemble dipping sauce by combing the yogurt, lemon juice, cilantro and seasonings. Serve alongside fritters and enjoy!

2 packages active dry yeast

1 tbps + 1/3 cup sugar

Zest of two oranges plus 1/2 cup of juice

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 tbsp salt

7 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp. fennel seeds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 poppy seeds





  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 cup of lukewarm water.
  2. Using the paddle attachment, stir orange zest, juice and oil into yeast mixture, then add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, and remaining sugar and salt. Switch to the dough hook and gradually add 6 cups of flour, kneading for about 5 minutes and adding more flour as needed to make a slightly sticky, smooth and elastic dough.
  3. Grease a large bowl, turn dough into it and then turn the dough over to grease the top. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
  4. When the dough has almost doubled, punch it down, remove it to a lightly floured counter, knead it briefly until smooth and divide it in half. Roll each piece into a cylinder about 27 inches long, making sure there are no seams in the dough. Bring one end of the dough up to the other and twist to form a spiral. Push both ends together to make a squat 12-inch loaf. Repeat with other piece of dough and arrange loaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. You can also twist the long spirals into a circle if you like; the dough is very malleable.
  5. Beat remaining egg and egg yolk and brush about half the mixture on the loaves, reserving the rest. Let the dough rise uncovered another half-hour or overnight in refrigerator.
  6. If dough was refrigerated, bring to room temperature. Heat oven to 350 degrees and in a small bowl, combine fennel, poppy and sesame seeds. Brush the loaves with egg again and sprinkle with seeds.
  7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and firm when tapped with a spatula. Cool on a rack.

Happy Chanukah From my
corner to yours, Cindy.

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