Why Schmaltz is Your Secret Weapon for the Best Thanksgiving Sides

Who needs butter for mashed potatoes when you can use chicken fat?

Remember that time when Hanukkah and Thanksgiving collided to form the most epic Jewish American holiday in history, THANKSGIVUKKAH?? It was glorious and produced many, many Jewish-Thanksgiving mash-ups like Thanksgiving knishes and the turkey-shaped challah. Each November I feel a deep sadness due to the lack of prescribed Jewish food as part of Thanksgiving.

But I think I figured out a way to overcome this Thanksgivukkah depression: add schmaltz to Thanksgiving.

All joking aside, schmaltz, or chicken fat, is so versatile in cooking, and it’s cheap and readily available to anyone who regularly cooks with chicken (just save bits of extra chicken skin and freeze them until ready to use). And another secret: Many butchers will give you a bag of chicken skin for free if you ask.

So get your schmaltz ready and try one of these perfect Thanksgiving recipes this year to infuse some chicken fatty goodness to your holiday. That’s something worthy of gratitude.

Serve this whipped schmaltz as an unexpected and rich appetizer: Apple and Onion Schmaltz from Food52

Gravy is delish, but gravy with schmaltz and hard cider is pretty incredible: Hard Cider and Schmaltz Gravy from Bon Apetit

Upgrade traditional green bean casserole with schmaltz: Green Beans with Schmaltz Fried Shallots from Thanksgiving.com

This crispy, beautiful potato casserole will be the star of the table: Crispy Leaf Potatoes with Chicken Fat from Rasa Malaysia

Schmaltz even makes mashed potatoes more delicious: Sammy’s Roumanian Mashed Potatoes with Gribenes

Keep on Noshing

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How to Use Schmaltz

Delicious uses for leftover chicken (or other poultry) fat.