Citizens, if you come from an old-school Jewish family, or are over 70, you are familiar with the extremely ethnic, extremely bad for you and extremely delicious Jewish recipe called Kishke – קישקע
Kishke, also known as stuffed derma (from German Darm, “intestine”), is a kind of meatless sausage, traditionally made from beef intestine (casing) or more classically from chicken or turkey neck skin, and stuffed with flour or matzo meal, schmaltz (chicken fat) and spices.
In modern cooking, edible synthetic casings often replace the beef intestine or neck skin. Kishke is a common addition to Ashkenazi-style Cholent stew, served on the Jewish Sabbath in observant homes.
Prepared kishke is sold in some kosher butcheries and delicatessen; in Israel it is available in the frozen-food section of most supermarkets. Non-traditional varieties include kishke stuffed with rice and kishke stuffed with diced chicken livers and ground gizzards. There are also vegetarian kishke recipes.
The stuffed sausage is usually placed on top of the assembled cholent and cooked overnight in the same pot. Alternatively it can be cooked in stock or water with vegetable oil added or baked in a dish, and served separately with flour-thickened gravy made from the cooking liquids.
TFD has gone totally old-school with this recipe, using turkey neck skins as the casing that crisp up to an incredible savor. You can go with synthetic sausage caring if you prefer, but nothing beats the original!
I’ve updated the recipe with herbs, more spices and a killer mushroom gravy that I am very proud of. I recognize that only a few Citizens will try and make this – but I hope you will consider it, as it is part of a nearly extinct culinary heritage that is also DELICIOUS!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
4 turkey (preferred) or chicken neck skins – your butcher can provide these if you let him know in advance or use synthetic sausage casing
1 ½ tsp herbed seasoning salt (I like Jane’s Krazy Salt)
2 ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 ¼ tsp ground ginger
3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
6 cups flour
2 full tbsp ground chicken bouillion cube
1 tsp baking powder
Slightly more than ½ pound chicken fat without the skin, cut in small pieces
Slightly more than ½ pound ghee (clarified butter) – since clarified butter does not include the butter’s milk portion, this remains a kosher recipe. If you prefer or need to be sure it’s kosher, use chicken fat instead.
2 large onions, cut in small pieces
2 garlic cloves, well crushed
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 cup minced fresh herbs – equal parts chervil, parsley, thyme and sage
Big needle with thread
For the gravy:
2 peeled onions cut into pieces
2 peeled garlic cloves cut in half
2 carrots cut in shreds
2 bay leaves
4 whole black peppercorns
3 allspice berries
The stems of the herbs used in kishke filling
2 tbsp chicken fat
Several cups of chicken stock
More Than Gourmet Demi-glace Gold French Demi-glace – buy it from Amazon here
Dried porcini mushrooms to taste – rehydrated in chicken stock from kishke and then minced
Maggi seasoning to taste
Flour or potato starch
Wash the neck skins very, very clean. Wash again and dry in paper towels, then sew up one end of each section.
In a bowl, mix in all the dry ingredients, add the chicken fat, chicken boullion cube powder, ghee, herbs, onions, garlic and roasted garlic. Mix well.
Fill up skins, being careful not to overstuff. Pour in very gently 2-3 tbsp ice water and sew up the top. Wash in cold water.
Put kishkes in a big pot that contains a goodly amount of chicken soup, and then add 2 peeled onions cut into pieces, 2 peeled garlic cloves cut in half, 2 carrots cut in shreds, 2 bay leaves, 4 whole black peppercorns, 3 allspice berries, the stems of the herbs and 2 tbsp chicken fat.
Bring all to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook very gently till soup reduces to nearly half the amount. (about 1 ½ – 2 hours) Gently turn over kishkes (to avoid holes).
Remove lid of pot and put in a preheated 350 degree F hot oven and bake till it gets a nice brown color. Baste kishkes frequently.
Transfer kishkes to a warm serving dish. Strain out vegetables (discard bay leaves) from gravy and purée with mushroom soaking liquid. Add back to gravy with minced porcini and Maggi seasoning to taste and thicken with demiglace to taste plus potato starch or a flour-based roux made with equal parts flour and chicken fat.
Pour over kishke and serve.