The chicken sandwich at Bin 555 made with schmaltz.
The chicken sandwich at Bin 555, made with schmaltzy aioli.
Photo © Matt Moore

The trendiest fat in restaurant kitchens isn’t butter, olive oil or even lard—it’s schmaltz, a.k.a. rendered chicken fat. Here are five creative ways chefs are using this luscious ingredient right now.

1. At Pearl & Ash in New York City, chef Richard Kuo creates a creamy, salty-sweet spread for smoked focaccia by blending room temperature rendered chicken fat with butter and maple syrup.

2. For the chicken-iest chicken salad sandwich, Jason Dady of San Antonio’s Bin 555 tosses the meat in a schmaltzy aioli, made with chicken fat, reduced chicken stock, egg yolk and Dijon mustard.

3. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, co-excutive chefs Daniel Ryan and Kim Floresca of [ONE] restaurant make fry bread by rubbing small bits of frozen schmaltz into flour, the same way a classic pie crust is made; then they deep-fry it until it’s puffed and golden.

4. Don’t waste even an ounce of this liquid gold! New York’s Blue Ribbon chefs Eric and Bruce Bromberg always skim the chicken fat from the surface of simmering soups. Store your extra schmaltz in a jar in the fridge, and use a heaping spoonful for tasks like caramelizing onions.

5. In a twist on Asian fried rice, Philadelphia chef Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink sautés jasmine rice in chicken fat with ginger and saffron. He tops it all off with a softly poached egg and roasted black trumpet mushrooms.

Related: Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
How to Make Fried Chicken
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