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Oct 17, 2003 06:44 PM

Schmalz (Chicken Fat)

  • g

I understand this site is mainly New York But I live in Clearwater Florida area and I can't find Chicken fat (Schmalz) anymore. Can any one help me...


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  1. The best way to get schmalz is to buy a whole chicken, preferably from a butcher, pull out the fat, and render it by cooking in a frying pan over low heat until it is liquid. It will solidify quickly. And the crispy pieces leftover in the pan (gribenes in Yiddish) are delicious!

    6 Replies
    1. re: judy f

      Don't you need to add water? It didn't make sense to me, adding water to the pieces of chicken fat before rendering, but I recall that's what the recipe said.

      1. re: Lev N. Tien
        ChowFun (derek)

        It does render more easily...even heat from the water...which eventually boils away leaving you with the shmaltz and soon greeven! (grebenes) {jewish cracklins}

        1. re: ChowFun (derek)

          Years ago I considered myself a decent "balabost" others in the family did...and I would make my own....There are some things in this world that aren't worth it (I do miss the gribbenes though) and the Empire is pretty good..I keep a couple of tubs in the freezer..Main use is for chopped liver and for coating turkeys...and I only buy Empire.. Looking forward to a 20 pound Empire fresh turkey for Thanksgiving..there is nothing ike it... and I still make a damn good turkey after all these years..

          1. re: Parrot Mom

            Much to my health conscious sons regret I use it for Kasha and Bows too...

            1. re: Parrot Mom

              Your sons are very lucky to have a mother that still uses it.
              Shmaltz is wonderful.
              A rest in Ny calles Sammy's Roumanian gives each table a bottle of it in a pancake syrup dispenser to mix in with the chopped liver

              1. re: MV

                Recently I found a package of chicken backs, three pounds or so, for something like $1.25 at one of our local farmers' markets here in Duchess County NY...where you are truly unlikely to find Empire Kosher Poulty or any of its products. I took the skin and fat off of most of the backs and put it, with three or four whole backs, in a big non-stick skillet and just cooked in over a medium-low flame for as long as it took to render out the fat and cook the backs completely. I got about a cup of strained schmaltz, not to mention gribenes and those lovely crunchy backs (you should pardon me, better than bacon!) I use small amounts of the schmaltz for greasing the pan for matzoh brei, fried rice, and many other savory foods. A teaspoonful wouldn't kill you and it keeps at least three months in the fridge.

    2. Empire sells in frozen tubs. You may need to go to an East Coast supermarket, but if it sells Empire chix, turkeys, etc you should be able to find it.