Cookbook giveaway - The Book of Schmaltz

Schmaltz!Here at EYB we're all for encouraging our members to indulge their passion for cookbooks. To that end, we've created a program to give our members a chance to win a copy of new, exciting cookbooks that have just been published. To see all the contests, just look in the right-hand category column on any blog page and click on "Cookbook Giveaways."


This time, we're excited to offer three copies of  The Book of Schmaltz, by Michael Ruhlman, author of too many books to count To learn even more about the book,  check out Michael's short essay written especially for EYB.

To win one of the cookbooks, just post a comment to this blog answering the question: How (if ever) have you experienced schmaltz?

Additional rules are:

  • Please make certain you have signed in to the EYB website (you don't have to be a paid member). This ensures that we have your email address and can get in contact with you. 
  • The giveaway will expire in 4 weeks on September 20, 2013.
  • The books can only be shipped to a U.S. address.

And that's it! Winners will be chosen at random.

This contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winners, selected by a random number generator - poots55, yummerr and Waderu.


  • freckles  on  8/23/2013 at 11:52 AM

    My experience would have been from a Jewish Deli. I see it in my Cookbooks and know how to render it, just have never stepped up and made it. I bought a new Jewish cookbook and was thinking now should be the time to go ahead and make some, then I saw this post and consider it to be a sign. I have a chicken in the fridge for some Thai soup and the skin will go to the freezer for SCHUMALTZ.

  • sisterspat  on  8/23/2013 at 12:00 PM

    I must be honest, I have never heard of this, so am happy to keep learning new things. I do have one of his cookbooks Ruhlmann's Twenty.

  • wester  on  8/23/2013 at 12:00 PM

    I am unfortunate in never having encountered schmaltz. I do love chicken skin, and I bacon fat, and I imagine the flavor of the first with the texture of the next. I want this book!! I can arrange a US address to ship the book to.

  • ktwalla  on  8/23/2013 at 12:11 PM

    I've never tasted schmaltz but I'm sure it's yummy!

  • Dan  on  8/23/2013 at 12:38 PM

    Yum! Lets make some Yellow Gold! First encountered trying to make Matzo Balls

  • cstringari  on  8/23/2013 at 12:43 PM

    First time I had schmaltz was at Sammy's Roumanian in NYC. Been a convert ever since.

  • crazyethyl  on  8/23/2013 at 12:43 PM

    I have unfortunately never had the pleasure but seeing how my family fights over the skin off a chicken or turkey and I love cooking with bacon fat. I can just imagine how yummy the recipes in this cookbook will be.

  • Robert  on  8/23/2013 at 12:44 PM

    I have encountered it more times than I can count - as I grew up Jewish, in the NY Metro area, with two grandmothers who were gifted at using it.

  • Kaddyshack  on  8/23/2013 at 12:44 PM

    I had never heard of schmaltz before. But I am indexing a cookbook right now that encourages the use of lard in moderation for cooking Mexican fare. So I'm thinking, the larger the variety of fats available, the more flavorful varieties of food we can make. And that makes me a happy camper!

  • Jon in Albany  on  8/23/2013 at 12:46 PM

    I saved all the chicken fat from making a ton of chicken stock for Thanksgiving. I used it in a roux for gravy. I also sauteed the onions and celery in it for the bread dressing. Both were great.

  • carminabee  on  8/23/2013 at 12:48 PM

    I just used schmaltz yesterday to make a roux to replace a can of cream of chicken soup in a favorite family recipe.

  • Oakley  on  8/23/2013 at 1:03 PM

    Grind up chicharrones and mix with melted schmaltz and spread on rye bread - delicious!!

  • Aggreenhouse  on  8/23/2013 at 1:16 PM

    My husbands grandmother used to cook with schmaltz - her food was wonderful!

  • manorkitchen  on  8/23/2013 at 1:38 PM

    At a swanky dinner attended by wine author Allen Balik, he was enamoured with an hors d'oeuvre of "chicken confit," and solicited my opinion as to what particular alchemy was at work with the dish. I responded with a brief explanation of confit as a technique that might be applied to chicken, and he exclaimed, with an exaggerated Semitic affect, "Oh! It's Shmaltz! No wonder I love it!"

  • Desertroses  on  8/23/2013 at 1:48 PM

    Anyone who has ever eaten a bow of Campbells Chicken Noodle Soup has experienced schmaltz. A good homemade chicken soup needs schmaltz. It's where the flavor is.

  • rivergait  on  8/23/2013 at 2:33 PM

    I discovered schmaltz when using Ina Garten's chicken pate recipe. Now I have something to do with the gobs of fat left from dismembering those baby Cornish Cross that pass for frying chickens. Nothing left to discard except the "Pope's Nose" tail oil gland, which is a good way to honor the life of the chicken you are consuming.

  • clare_b74  on  8/23/2013 at 2:42 PM

    Never! Which is highly likely to be related to being Australian, and now that I come to think of it, in a city that seems to lack any Jewish influence at all... But I'm no stranger to fats as such and am always willing to widen my food experiences (if not my waist!)

  • Lynn R  on  8/23/2013 at 3:28 PM

    My mother used schmaltz in the dumplings she put in chicken soup. Very yummy!

  • jenniesb  on  8/23/2013 at 3:28 PM

    My mom always used to make matzo balls with schmaltz!

  • kbennall  on  8/23/2013 at 4:52 PM

    I'm not sure I've experienced it per se, but I've made it by accident (sort of) when roasting chickens. Then I mix it into mayonnaise, and put that on EVERYTHING.

  • yummerr  on  8/23/2013 at 5:38 PM

    Shiksa/Chink that I am, I'd have to admit that I'm still a schmaltz virgin - but looking forward to my first time

  • Senkimekia  on  8/23/2013 at 5:45 PM

    Never had it but I know what it is and I recently discovered a local place that sells it so I guess I need to add it to the things to cook with/try out list. :)

  • chawkins  on  8/23/2013 at 7:06 PM

    I've never used schmaltz myself, but I've eaten plenty as it is the essential ingredient for cooking the rice in Hainanese chicken rice and I ate that quite a bit when I was small.

  • FuzzyChef  on  8/23/2013 at 11:54 PM

    I used to be Orthodox Jewish. I think that tells you all you need to know.

  • Sally  on  8/24/2013 at 8:59 AM

    I've never cooked with schmalz, but I have added unrendered chicken fat to tsukune (Japanese ground chicken balls) and it made the dish very succulent.

  • lilyicious  on  8/24/2013 at 10:10 AM

    I use smaltz to saute my vegetables for soups and stews. Always keep a container in my freezer!

  • sir_ken_g  on  8/24/2013 at 11:28 AM

    Duck cooked in duck fat would be as close as I have come.

  • Gail  on  8/24/2013 at 4:24 PM

    I have rendered lard before, but never from chicken fat. This intrigues me!

  • ellabee  on  8/24/2013 at 5:24 PM

    When an area farmer sells fresh pasture-raised chickens in town, I get a couple of whole birds. First step is to remove the nice chunks of fat and render the schmaltz. A heavy small saucepan over low heat does a great job on a back burner while I deal with the rest of the processing (cut up one of the chickens and freeze the parts, prep the other for roasting, and make stock with the trimmings). My favorite use for it is in chopped chicken livers, and with what's left I roast potatoes or brussels sprouts.

  • FJT  on  8/24/2013 at 11:43 PM

    I've eaten schmalz in Germany where it is often made from pork fat. That was an acquired taste - I prefer the sound of it made from chicken fat!! The idea of a whole book based around schmalz is interesting!

  • docjosh  on  8/25/2013 at 8:01 AM

    Schmalz not, Want not. I can remember my mother dressing fresh killed hens...saving the fat for schmalz and dropping the (pre egg) yolks into home made chicken soup...heavenly stuff relegated to the dust bin of the past

  • GoldenLeica  on  8/25/2013 at 10:20 AM

    I like schmaltz, but I like duck fat even better! So creamy! aka GoldenLeica

  • pgarcia  on  8/25/2013 at 2:08 PM

    I have never experienced schmaltz, but I love every book Ruhlman does!

  • volition  on  8/25/2013 at 3:24 PM

    I'm here in Australia , I have no idea about Scmaltz. I'm sure I've heard it referred to in something by Mel Brooks. Is it a cultural comfort or does it stand up on its own? If you send me a book I can tell you objectively. I think I've become a giveaway hound! Lol.

  • sarahcooks  on  8/25/2013 at 4:02 PM

    I scrape the chicken fat off the top of homemade chicken broth and throw it in the trash, always kicking myself that I don't know how to use it!

  • matag  on  8/25/2013 at 5:31 PM

    Best kept secret of all time!

  • Queezle_Sister  on  8/25/2013 at 6:36 PM

    I've never tried schmaltz, but you've made me curious. I'm becoming ever more skeptical of sugars, and learning to embrace fats. Looks like an awesome book.

  • debpiper  on  8/25/2013 at 7:20 PM

    My mother put chicken fat in her homemade noodles and they were delicious!

  • Waderu  on  8/25/2013 at 8:02 PM

    My Grandmother's chopped liver. Boy do I miss that. And sometimes she would fry it up into little crunchy bits I think she called grevin.

  • TheSpicedLife  on  8/25/2013 at 8:46 PM

    I have used schmaltz plus liquid smoke to sub for lard in refried beans for Jewish friends who keep kosher!

  • tcjanes  on  8/25/2013 at 10:20 PM

    Scrambled eggs and veggie sautés.

  • mpennington  on  8/26/2013 at 1:15 PM

    I make chicken stock (using Mr. Ruhlman's recipe from "Ratio) from left over carcass after roasting a free range yard bird. I always refrigerate the stock before canning or freezing and throw away the accumulated fat. Guess I need to start saving fat.

  • cpasek  on  8/26/2013 at 3:27 PM

    My mother used to make schmaltz after roasting a duck. Just slathering some on some freshly baked rye bread was heaven!

  • joannepr  on  8/26/2013 at 4:14 PM

    gribines - a good memory

  • MollyB  on  8/26/2013 at 5:19 PM

    I've never made it or cooked with it, but have always been curious. I've thought about making it and trying it, but have been intimidated by the rendering process.

  • Florence Mitchell  on  8/26/2013 at 7:11 PM

    I probably had it in traditional Jewish foods at some point when I was growing up. Once in a while I use the chicken fat from making soup to make matzo balls. Yum.

  • Laura  on  8/26/2013 at 9:31 PM

    My only experience with schmaltz is eating at a food truck in San Francisco. And reading about it on Mr. Ruhlman's website. Would love a copy of the book. Thank you.

  • HawaiiCook  on  8/26/2013 at 9:47 PM

    Have enjoyed it in the really good Jewish deli's in and around Chicago. Can't wait for my upcoming visit back home to enjoy it again!!!

  • PatriciaAnn  on  8/27/2013 at 7:30 AM

    Surprisingly, having grown up in Brooklyn, I've never had schmaltz, at least not knowingly. But, having made my own chicken stock, and saving the fat to sauté foods in, I may have had it without even knowing it. Anyway, sounds like a great book!

  • singingchef  on  8/27/2013 at 7:34 AM

    Schmaltz is essential in my family's once-a-year chopped liver for Passover. One bite takes us back to our roots.

  • kayanelson  on  8/27/2013 at 8:51 AM

    Don't think I've ever used schmaltz but it does sound good.

  • Mark Riccardelli  on  8/27/2013 at 6:00 PM

    I've never specifically had schmaltz, but I have experienced foie gras many times..does that count?

  • amc  on  8/27/2013 at 7:26 PM

    chopped liver, followed by matzoh balls

  • mjrr  on  8/28/2013 at 5:22 PM

    Haven't tried it in cooking, but was always mindful that it seemed bad form to use it negatively describing art, music or writing. My little Yiddish/English dictionary gives two definitions: 1) chicken fat, and 2) extreme sentimentality. I like that better.

  • kranlett  on  8/28/2013 at 6:57 PM

    I used to make my matzo balls with chicken fat. Also schmaltz gives matzo Brei an unbelievable taste that no other fat can duplicate. I guess it's time to render my own supply since it's not sold here.

  • NaomiManygoats  on  8/28/2013 at 7:07 PM

    I have never heard of this before, but sure would love to find out from this cool looking book! I will cook schmaltz for sure, whatever it is!

  • scassutt  on  8/28/2013 at 7:49 PM

    I've cooked with shmaltz, but was shocked to hear my father reminisce about eating rye bread spread with schmaltz when he was a child. Certainly a way to use the whole chicken.

  • baybritta  on  8/28/2013 at 7:52 PM

    I'm not sure what the first thing I ate with schmaltz since mutti used with many things but I think my favorite is Chicken liver pate that she makes occasionally.

  • Ernie  on  8/28/2013 at 8:04 PM

    My mothers matzoh balls made with schmaltz!

  • smtucker  on  8/28/2013 at 8:16 PM

    My first solid food was liverwurst from the local Jewish deli in Forest Hills, NY. They made this wonder food with tons of schmaltz. My mother claims that we were the only Goys within the neighborhood and I have no reason to disbelieve her. Of course, she had no idea what was in this delicacy, and sadly, when she figured it out it no longer came home with her. Though we moved before I was in kindergarten, my love of all foods Jewish [except Kugel; just don't get that sweet and cinnamon with savory] has stayed with me throughout my life.

  • virb  on  8/28/2013 at 8:21 PM

    Had never heard of it before, but from the sound of it, would fit my values perfectly !

  • kristen  on  8/28/2013 at 9:43 PM

    It's a great, 'light', chickeny way to cook most things. And it's such a waste to throw it away and not to use that skin and fat for flavouring and cooking. A Jewish girlfriend introduced me to it with potatoes and I've never looked back.

  • goodfruit  on  8/28/2013 at 10:07 PM

    Have not experienced the way it is defined. However, I have used leftover chicken fat in the pan to cook whatever the next thing I cooked was. Does that count?

  • Caroline  on  8/29/2013 at 12:11 AM

    Can across it unknowingly as a child at our local Jewish deli.. Then as a student in London visiting Blooms. Now I buy it if I see it but want make my own as we always save goose fat after cooking a goose for amazing roast potatoes. Can arrange a US address for shipping if required!!

  • toddschut  on  8/29/2013 at 6:30 AM

    Not sure if I have knowingly had it. Maybe when I forgot to skim the chicken soup?

  • foodandcrafts  on  8/29/2013 at 6:44 AM

    Matza Balls

  • KimChi  on  8/29/2013 at 8:11 AM

    Encountered as a child at a friends Grandma's house. Great stuff!

  • npercic82  on  8/29/2013 at 8:52 AM

    I have never encountered Schmaltz as of yet, but I have been intrigued by this book by Mr. Ruhlman. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I have done a lot of research on schmaltz (and other ingredients) and I am anxious to add it to my repertoire. This book would be a great place to get started!

  • Soveh  on  8/29/2013 at 10:00 AM

    I've had schmaltz in the chopped liver at my favorite deli--perfection! I know the Matzo balls I make at home would be better if they were made with it, so I clearly need to find a good source.

  • poots55  on  8/29/2013 at 10:27 AM

    I made a chicken pot pie using all the left over "stuff" from a roasted chicken including the hardened "fat" I normally removed. It was so delicious my husband and I then promptly died and went to heaven.

  • Vivian  on  8/29/2013 at 11:19 AM

    I've never tried schmaltz before but always thought that it was a waste to get rid of all the chicken fat, I'm so excited there's a use for it. And it sounds so delicious!

  • Ruth  on  8/29/2013 at 11:41 AM

    We ate chicken fat on bread during the war when Butter was hard to get . Later years we had a container of Bacon fat by the stove, In Poland this is still used in some areas where some of my relatives come from . They claim it helps to protect your stomach when drinking Vodka. Everything in moderation.

  • louie734  on  8/29/2013 at 11:45 AM

    Only through making a pan sauce for roasted chicken... deliciousness.

  • RobinCR  on  8/29/2013 at 12:25 PM

    Not that I know of. I am sure Michael Ruhlman would never write a book about it if it wasn't worth trying.

  • robm  on  8/29/2013 at 3:47 PM

    Schmalz (from chickens, ducks, or geese) was one of the favored cooking fats for Eastern European Jews. It was certainly useful for a mostly poor population, since it was a free byproduct of cooking a chicken or goose, which were probably their most common sources of animal protein. Keeping some chickens, ducks or geese was relatively easy (even in some urban areas), even for poor people. Cattle or oxen were another story, because their upkeep is costly and they require much more space than poor people generally had. If they could afford to keep such an animal, it was mostly for milk. Beef was expensive. So schmalz, by default, become a favorite cooking medium for meat dishes. It adds delicious flavor to foods cooked or fried in it and it turns chopped liver (and other meat patés) into unctuous, velvety delicacies. It has gone out of favor for purported health reasons, but it now turns out it's not as bad for us as we were led to believe, and it's been making a comeback. It's easy to make your own at home if you have access to chicken fat and skins at your butcher's. BTW, a vegetarian/vegan version exists: just slowly sauté onions in plenty of vegetable shortening until the onions are golden and caramelized. To increase the flavor you can add a small amount of "un-chicken" broth powder. Strain the flavored shortening into a suitable container and keep in the fridge. Use the caramelized onions in any other dish calling for them! Enjoy!

  • Imalinata  on  8/29/2013 at 6:36 PM

    My MIL's matzo ball soup. It makes the best matzo balls.

  • JanScholl  on  8/31/2013 at 12:53 AM

    I don't think I ever have had the food schmalz. I have however, been subjected to the horrors of that in wonder I stay home these days.

  • Carole Viebrock  on  8/31/2013 at 11:08 AM

    SCHMALTZ-- YUM!! Skimming fresh schmaltz that forms as the top layer of homemade chicken soup and drizzling it on matzoh @ Passover is etched in my taste buds forever.

  • CRT  on  8/31/2013 at 1:02 PM

    I make schmaltz from the fat I save when I butcher the chickens I raise. Then I use it to sauté onions, make crackers, make biscuits. It's delicious. Truly free range heirloom breed chickens have a lot of nice fat because they are at least 15 weeks old when butchered as compared with 6 to 8 weeks for the typical grocery store bird.

  • Rstein  on  8/31/2013 at 11:50 PM

    I have been using schmaltz in my matzo balls for years -- secretly. When I was young, my father made me Gribeners (sp?) cooked in schmaltz. Yum. But it was such a forbidden treat, and guaranteed to close your arteries before the meal was over, that I have not had it since. My family, especially my father, loves my matzo balls. Just before he died (NOT from heart disease) I let him in on my my secret.

  • jfadiman  on  9/3/2013 at 12:16 PM

    Yup, I use it to make a roux :)

  • JamieK  on  9/6/2013 at 8:53 AM

    used when roasting fingerling potatoes

  • schwabka  on  9/14/2013 at 8:26 PM

    I married into a Jewish family, and while initially skeptical, I quickly grew to love it!

  • kensimplify  on  9/17/2013 at 1:21 AM

    To jazz up rice, I've added a bit of schmaltz with ginger and garlic. The result: delicious, chicken-flavored rice. Another notch!

  • Sandiasingh  on  9/18/2013 at 10:59 AM

    I make my own from an organic chicken and use a tablespoon or two to saute chard or spinach along with garlic and shallots. I keep it in a jar in the fridge.

  • FieenaZ  on  9/18/2013 at 11:05 AM

    My grandma cooked with schmaltz. She kept a jar of it by her stove and her latkes fried in schmaltz were out of this world.

  • BurlapandButterKnives  on  9/18/2013 at 11:22 AM

    I am dying to try my hand at schmaltz and I would love this book!!!!!!!!!!

  • wmhinshaw  on  9/18/2013 at 12:55 PM

    I have a small jar of schmaltz in my freezer (I know, it probably doesn't need to be stored there). Great for cooking chicken livers for my Jewish husband. Also, substitute for the oil in matzo balls (yes, I use the mix in the box).

  • Linda S.  on  9/18/2013 at 1:06 PM

    I've always saved it, but have rarely used it, so need this book to tell me how to do that!

  • ljskop  on  9/18/2013 at 1:07 PM

    (Have signed in now, otherwise I assume you can't contact me). I have Twenty by Michael Ruhlman, so am anxious to read this new effort.

  • Manykittiesmama  on  9/18/2013 at 2:30 PM

    Schmaltz & Gribene...Heaven!!

  • Gene  on  9/18/2013 at 3:39 PM

    Sadly, I have not schmaltz-ed... But I am willing to learn!

  • broweir  on  9/18/2013 at 4:04 PM

    Braised pork shoulder in banana leaves cooked in liquid gold.

  • fifi  on  9/18/2013 at 5:43 PM

    my first association with Schmaltz was as a young girl growing up in Cleveland OH, one of my first jobs was working at Davis Bakery & Deli and I believe that they used it in their chopped liver!

  • Bloominanglophile  on  9/18/2013 at 10:13 PM

    I'm sure I have eaten something with schmaltz unknowingly (I'm sure I enjoyed it, though)! My husband does make matzo balls on occasion (I think he uses veg oil)--maybe I could convince him to try schmaltz instead. I have frozen fat from breaking down chickens--would love to have some delicious ideas to utilize it.

  • pipinita21  on  9/19/2013 at 8:36 AM

    I have never heard of it... but hey I am totally open to learn new things.

  • Larissa Prusak  on  9/19/2013 at 3:57 PM

    I use to eat it in Germany on a fresh piece of bread all the time and I love it.

  • HarlanH  on  9/20/2013 at 9:23 AM

    I've tried to make it once or twice. Tasty.

  • patsylu  on  9/20/2013 at 9:31 AM

    My mother always made matzo balls with schmaltz. So good!

  • ericdfields  on  9/20/2013 at 10:04 AM

    I got introduced to schmaltz via my girlfriend's mother who made farfle for passover. Now I regularly wish I had farfle in place of croutons, crackers, to go in soup, or just by itself.

  • prpost  on  9/20/2013 at 10:05 AM

    The only time I definitely know I experienced schmaltz was at a Cookbook Author's Dinner featuring Michael Ruhlman this week. The gnocchi recipe they featured from The Book of Schmaltz was heavenly. Also, Ruhlman is a great, down-to-earth guy if you ever get a chance to meet him.

  • Robinfromphila  on  9/20/2013 at 11:38 AM

    From my Nana, when she taught me how to make matzah balls and chicken soups! I miss her every day.

  • Jane  on  9/22/2013 at 4:22 PM

    This contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winners, selected by a random number generator - poots55, yummerr and Waderu.

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