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Quick help needed for skimming fat off chicken soup WITHOUT having to cool it down...

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Made some chicken soup after recovery from a stomach flu. Tried the toast trick (I think I read about it on the board) -- you know, floating it around on top to suck up some of the fat, even used two slices, but there's still a bunch in there...

I would like to eat rather soon, so cooling it all down until the fat solidifies is not really an option here. Any magic tricks you have up your respective sleeves?

Thanks so much in advance -- I don't think I can handle that amount of grease at this point.

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  1. you can try laying down paper towels to the surface to soak up some of the fat.

    1. for next time: when I'm sick I use Imagine brand organic free-range chicken broth to make my chicken soup.... much easier to do when you're sick and still tastes great! (I add fresh dill, onions, carrots, celery and serve over cooked rice or cooked noodles)

      1. Try a chilled leaf of lettuce, the fat should cling to it. Any leafy vegetable should work, and you can use the bruised outer leaves you might otherwise discard.
        Just brush it over the surface with your hand.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rabaja

          Wow, thanks, those are all great suggestions. Will try the leaf lettuce first (have some leftover), then try the paper towels.

          I did use store-bought chicken stock & broth mixed, but I added bone-in chicken thighs w/skin, so that's where all that gunk's coming from....

          I'll let y'all know how it turned out. Thank you!!!!!!!!!

          1. re: linguafood

            I know we are two years old, but I just tried this with an endive and my goodness it worked PERFECTLY. Thanks Chowhoun & linguafood! SO GOOD! fantastic.

        2. You can bring it to a rolling boil. The fat tends to clump up in the middle. I just skim that portion.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            Another interesting suggestion. How do you skim it, though? I mean, what do you use?

            I did use the lettuce leaf and then some paper towels. Though I didn't catch all of it, I think it did the trick.

            Thank you all!

            1. re: linguafood

              a strainer works well for skimming... if not, a slotted spoon or a spider.

              1. re: Emme

                Just caught a rerun of an AB show on making broth. I'd never tried skimming with a fine strainer before and it looked as though it worked brilliantly. Next time, for sure. I've always used a slotted spoon (my spider is nowhere near fine enough) and it seems as though I'm going skim, plop, skim, plop forever.

                He dipped the strainer in cold water before each skim; I don't recall if he said so specifically, but it seemed to help congeal, or bring together the scum, making the whole faster and easier.

              2. re: linguafood

                I just use a plain old ladle. It takes practice, but I've pretty much got to the point where I get 95% of the fat out. I find it work a lot better than the paper towel, bread method.

                I prefer it to the letting it sit in the fridge overnight method as my stocks tend to be really gelatinous. It's not that easy to separate fat from gelatin.

              3. re: Miss Needle

                Bringing it to a boil will incorporate the fat into the broth, not remove it. Get a glass fat separator (for gravy), they work great for this purpose.

                1. re: Buckethead

                  As I only bring it to a boil for about a minute, I don't think it will make much of a difference. I've got a small kitchen -- have to make do with my space.

              4. How about one of those fat separating measuring cups? You pour in a serving of soup, and the fat rises, but the soup pours out of the bottom.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Linda513

                  They work great! Highly recommend getting one.

                  1. re: Linda513

                    So when the soup is still hot and I pour it into one of those cups, the fat will really separate? It seems to me that I'd have to cool it down significantly to get that separation. I've always wanted to get one of those separators but haven't been convinced....

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Yes it separates fine while the soup is hot. Unless the broth has been boiled too hard and dispersed the fat into little greasy molecules throughout.

                      1. re: Romanmk

                        Agreed. But if you get one, get a glass one. I had a plastic one (which I loved), and I used it about 10 times, and then the last time I went to use it, I pulled it off the shelf and it disintegrated. Literally into lots of tiny pieces. I guess it must have been the stress of the temperature changes.

                        1. re: Kagey

                          Sorry about that. I love my plastic one that CI recommended, and it has really held up. Search the web for Trudeau 099 1105

                      2. re: linguafood

                        Agreed 100%, get one. I just made chicken stock over the weekend and the gravy separator works perfectly for this purpose. Just ladle the top layer into it and pour the broth back in.

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Fat floats at any home-kitchen temperature. I"ve had a plastic gravy separator for countless years and it still works. I can't understand why any gravy- and soup-making household doesn't have one. To avoid possible disintegration (as mentioned by another poster), avoid cheapo models. I see Chef's Catalog has a laboratory-glass=quality model, which I might get today if I needed one.

                      3. You can try pouring the stock (after it's not boiling hot anymore) into a large gallon size zip lock bag. Then snip off the bottom corner and let the bottom drain. The fat should stay on top of the bag. Of course, stop the flow when you are nearing the end.

                        1. I agree with the 2 suggestions above. Put the broth in a gravy separator and pour away the broth from the fat. Or place in a ziplock bag and let the broth out one corner. The other methods of skimming will not as effectively get rid of the fat.

                          1. I once skimmed the soup with a few ice cubes which worked. But today I just place the soup when it cools into the refrigerator or in a plastic container in the freezer for a few hours and skim off the fat. I usually make the soup a day in advance and find it easy to strain the fat.

                            1. I have a fat mop that is made of some type of plastic, not sure what, and you brush it across the top of the broth and it soaks up the fat and leaves the rest behind. It's a pain to clean, but if I don't have time to let it harden, or if there is too much for my separator cup, then it's perfect.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: danhole

                                A fat mop! How curious... does that work on thighs, too? ;-)

                              2. I actually have great luck just using a large, flat (serving) spoon and skimming the nasty bubbles before the soup boils. I skim carefully, tilt the spoon a big against the inside of the pot to drain off the broth (which I want!) and then rinse the spoon off in the sink with super hot water and repeat. I've found that the bubbles kinda foam together and attract each other, so you can use them like a magnet to make the job easier. If you wait until the soup is boiling, then it doesn't work. Also, while I haven't used one of these, my father got some device that looks like a giant nylon basting brush, that attracts fat, which was specifically intended for this purpose...I am a bit leary of this though as I don't like 'plastic' near my food, especially when it is super hot.