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A Schmaltzy Glossary

Chicken: A Schmaltzy Glossary

Schmaltz Aioli Photo © Con Poulos

Like olive oil, butter and lard, the Jewish cooking staple schmaltz (rendered chicken fat flavored with onion) is the new "it" ingredient. Chefs are using schmaltz to make aioli, spike fried rice and spread on bread. Since bubbes don't make aioli, here's a glossary of all the essential Yiddish schmaltz terminology you need to know to sound like a real maven.

Gehakte leber "ge-hock-teh lay-ber" Chopped liver, made with chicken liver, schmaltz-fried onions, boiled eggs and more schmaltz for a smooth texture.

Gribenes "gri-bah-nes" The crispy fried bits of skin and onion that remain after making schmaltz. Delicious sprinkled on gehakte leber.

Kishke "kish-kuh" A dense, rich stuffing made with vegetables and starch, sautéed in schmaltz and traditionally cooked inside beef intestine.

Knaidel "knay-dul" A dumpling, the most famous version of which is the matzo ball—typically flavored with schmaltz.

Related: Chicken Recipes and Cooking Tips
How to Butcher a Chicken
Best Restaurant Chicken Dishes

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