Chop up Chicken Scraps for Great Cooking Oil

We all know how to preserve bird bones for storage, but the extra skin and fat you find after cutting up a piece of poultry is just as valuable. With just a little effort on your part, you can make one of the tastiest cooking oils around.

This is part of the Lifehacker Eating Trash With Claire series in which Claire Lower convinces you to turn your kitchen waste into something edible and tasty.

It may take a few chicks to accumulate enough clippings to render, so just keep the bag in the freezer until you’ve got a pound or so. If you are butchering a goose, you will have enough right away. There are several ways to do this, and they are all very simple:

  • On the stove: Cut the fat and skin scraps into uniform pieces and toss them into a large non-reactive saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring every five minutes, about 45 minutes. Once you have a pile of runny fat and crunchy pork rinds, strain into a jar and refrigerate. Eat greaves.
  • In a slow cooker: Place the slices of minced fat and skin in your favorite slow cooker and simmer until the fat is liquid and golden brown, stirring every hour or so (this may take three or six hours, depending from your stove). Strain into jars and refrigerate.
  • In a sous-vide setup: This is what I did with snippets of this meat project , resulting in over a pint of great goose fat. Place all your leftovers in a sous-vide bag, close it, and immerse the bag in 185-degree water for a couple of hours until the bag is filled with liquid fat and your skin looks like it has given up everything it could. This will not crack, but you will not have to interfere, and you will not have to watch anything. Depending on what was in the trash bag, you may need to use a fat separator before pouring the reward into the jar.

When you have delicious goose fat, duck fat, or schmalz, use it for everything, especially fried vegetables. If there is a vegetable more divine than baked potatoes in goose fat, I have not yet met it.


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