Schmaltz and Gribenes - a Surprisingly Delicious Jewish Treat! wide display


Schmaltz and Gribenes - a Surprisingly Delicious Jewish Treat!

Elliot Bernstein photo
Elliot Bernstein
90 custom cooks


About this Custom Cook

The cook takes about 3 1/2-4 -hours to complete. The chef's pan cover needs to be removed about 3/4rds of the way through the - you will be notified. And the last part of the cook may require manual mixing several times during a 10–15-minute time period. Be patient. Maximizing flavors takes time. It is absolutely worth the wait. Be patient.

Schmaltz (pronounced Sh-Maltz) is rendered chicken fat. The skin/fat from other poultry such as goose and turkey can also be used.

It is an integral part of traditional Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine; where it has been used for centuries in a wide array of dishes such as chicken soup, latkes and other traditional Jewish foods.

The rendered chicken fat can be added to just about anything such as soups, rice, pasta, etc. and will GREATLY enhance their flavors.

Sometimes referred to as “Jewish bacon,” Gribenes are crispy, salty, sinfully delicious morsels, a byproduct of the fat rendering process. If you cook them long enough, they become crunchy.

Many recipes call for the addition of onions to enhance the overall flavor. I did include them with my cook. They become caramelized and are of course a delicious combination with the crispy chicken skin.

You might be wondering, “Where do I get a whole pound of chicken skin and fat?” Well, you can collect it from your everyday chicken recipes (store it in the freezer and thaw before using). You can try asking your butcher if they have any for sale. Or, you can buy a bunch of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, which are the fattiest cut of the chicken. Remove the fat and skin, then reserve the thighs for another dish.

FWIW, I have a poultry supplier in Texas that sells chicken and turkey skins in one pound packs (frozen) and have been purchasing them for years.


Download the custom cook to your Brava.

Chop up one large onion.

Add 1-2lbs of cut up chicken skin with the fat to the chef's pan. Add the chopped onions, a cup of water, 1/2 cup ghee, salt and pepper. Stir gently until you have the ingredients evenly spread out.

Place the lid on the chef's pan and place it in the Brava. Start the cook.

IGNORE the rapid preheat warning message.

After about 2 hours, the cook will pause. You need to remove the pan's cover and then press START to continue the cook. You will be alerted when this needs to be done.

REMEMBER, at this point you are dealing with a hot cast iron pan that has hot oil in it so protective gloves are recommended and be sure to handle the pan carefully.

The Brava will cook for a while longer, about 30 minutes, and then pause. Gently mix the chicken skin mixture. If you are satisfied with the browning, you can stop the cook at this point. Using a strainer or another similar method of your choice, separate the rendered oil from the chicken skin/onion mixture. It is a good idea to place the rendered oil in a small jar.

IF the chicken skin/onion mixture needs Additional Browning

IF the chicken skin/onion mixture needs additional cook time to add additional browning, mix the ingredients in the chef's pan, spread them out evenly and then insert the pan back into your Brava (NO LID). Press the START button.

After a short time, the cook will pause again. Check the doneness. You can repeat this process until the mixture is browned to your liking. This step can be repeated up to 6 times until the ingredients are browned as you want them. Once browning is complete, cancel the cook. Remove the chef's pan from your Brava. Allow everything to cool off. Then place the chicken skin mixture in a glass jar or Ziplock bag and refrigerate. along with the rendered oil (in its own separate jar of course).

The chicken skin/onion mixture is surprisingly delicious and can be used in many ways. You can eat them on their own or added them to your rice/pasta/potato dishes or top your favorite meats with them.

Add the oil to any dish calling for butter to greatly enhance the flavor.