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Monday, June 26, 2017

Cooking With Schmaltz

Schmaltz is chicken fat. You know it as the fat you skim from chicken broth. Maybe you have used lots of chicken fat and skin to render it. I used the skimmed fat from broth.

After I skimmed the fat, I decided to use it to cook. But, what would I cook? Biscuits seemed like the easiest thing--drop biscuits.

I used the correct ratio of flour to fat, but this was the softest biscuit dough I have ever seen. Maybe I should have refrigerated it. Maybe I did. I have forgotten.

The resulting biscuits were okay, just not what I was aiming for. It was probably not the final product anyone wishes for when baking biscuits. I ate them, not unhappy at all with the resulting taste or texture.

While I baked these biscuits months ago, today, I finally read a bit about chicken fat. It appears that this is a popular fat for those who are religious Jews and do not eat pork products. Of course, the cultural Jews use it too, most likely from tradition.

Even though I have only cooked with chicken fat once, I have never wasted it. I put it over Dominique's oats or just over her food.

"Chicken Fat" is a song composed for JFK's youth fitness program in schools. Just a bit of trivia.

Your turn
What do you do with chicken fat? Do you cook with it?


  1. i save it in a container in the freezer and use it in place of butter for a roux, use it in some sauces and melt it and brush it over root veggies that I am roasting. I have never tried it when baking.

    1. Anne,
      Baking is probably not the best application. Using chicken fat for a roux sounds like a very good use. I'm torn between giving it to Dominique and using it myself.

  2. Once my church had a Christian seder and my contribution was chicken matzo soup which was delicious. The recipe used chicken fat to make the matzo balls. I've never made it since or used chicken fat LOL. For all the baking I have done in my life, I have never made biscuits! I am not a big bread fan (although I love homemade cinnamon rolls) and just never eat biscuits. I do have a can of Cristco I use for pie crusts but I've never bought lard.

    1. Nan,
      I read that matzo ball used chicken fat, something I never knew. I like biscuits, but I am not good at making them. I rarely eat biscuits of any kind. The lard, like the Crisco has hydrogenated fat in it unless you buy at a butcher shop. Well, that is how it is around here. I was going to buy lard, but their was no health gain as far as I could tell.

      A Christian seder? What is the point?

  3. After many disappointing attempts, I can finally make great biscuits. The secret is using very cold butter, not Crisco. Using buttermilk also makes them delicious, but plain milk works just as well.

    1. Heather,
      I will try butter. Why could my mother use Crisco and make wonderful biscuits? It got to the point that I hated the process. But, I will try butter. Thanks.

    2. Everyone's idea of the perfect biscuit is different, but this is the recipe I use:

      Combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 Tablespoon baking powder, and 1 tsp salt. Cut in 6 Tablespoons very cold unsalted butter. Slowly stir in 1 cup buttermilk or milk. Do not over mix. Turn dough out onto floured surface and fold and knead about 15 times. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes.
      I can get about 7 biscuits out of this recipe and I bake them in a round cake pan. If your pan is dark, you might lower the temp, as they tend to brown on the bottom.

    3. I forgot to say to pat the dough into a rectangle and cut out biscuit rounds before baking, but that's probably obvious to everyone here!

    4. Heather,
      Thanks. I will try that. Yes, we knew you cut the


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