There are many different ways to make latkes, but after many attempts, this recipe seems to be the best. We played around with the eggs, oil type, grating/puréeing, adding matzah meal, and the potato-drying technique used. Our conclusion? To caramelize the onions in chicken fat, go half and half with the potatoes in the grater and food processor, dry the hell out of the potatoes (first through a strainer and then by utilizing the “jelly roll towel” technique), and finally, to fry the pancakes in a combination of chicken fat and peanut oil.
Just a few minor tweaks that can take your pancakes to the next level.
- 2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat (schmaltz), plus more for frying
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 sweet onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 10 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 1 bunch chives, chopped finely, for garnish
- Sour cream and applesauce, for serving
Heat the chicken fat and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for about another 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, grate ½ of the potatoes into an empty bowl. Blend the remaining potatoes in a food processor until smooth. Mix together the puréed and grated potatoes. Place the potato mixture in a colander set over an empty bowl. Salt the mixture and let it drain for 10 minutes.
Use the “jelly roll towel” technique to further dry the potatoes: Roll the potatoes in a towel then squeeze out any extra moisture. Return them to an empty bowl.
Add the caramelized onions, eggs, and egg yolk to the potatoes and mix until fully incorporated. Heat equal parts peanut oil and chicken fat in a pan, until hot but not smoking. Place loose, palm-sized balls of the mixture in the pan, flatten with a fork, and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Transfer to a paper towel and drain. Garnish with chives and serve with sour cream and applesauce.