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"Cook's Treat:" What's Yours?

Admit it: we all have that thing we do, whether it's peeling off a big strip of perfectly roasted chicken skin or saving the crunchy bottom of a gorgeous pilaf. No need to tell the family, but you can spill it here: what's your personal "cook's privilege?" Mine is the end piece of the meatloaf, with all the extra crunch and umami.....

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  1. the oysters of any roasted bird. Mine, mine, they're all mine! Bwaaahaahaaahaa.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      Just what I was thinking.... love those little pieces - also remembered the popes nose - or chicken tail/butt/a$$.... yum!

      1. re: sunshine842

        What I immediately thought of too!

      2. My treat is always the heart, liver, gizzard, neck (if one is included) of any poultry, roasted under the bird so they get covered in all the juicy tasty salty drippings...

        9 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          Oh, yes indeedy to both of these. I am personally very hoarderish with the chicken molasses almost-burnt to the bottom of the roasting pan....

          1. re: mamachef

            Hah... yes but... Oops. That's supposed to be scrapped up with wine or stock to make the pan sauce. My father used to take a chunk of fresh Italian bread and mop up the pan until mother realized what he was doing and he had to stop, poor fella.

            1. re: Gio

              But if you're not making a pan sauce, the meat candy is the cook's reward! Beef crispies too.

          2. re: Gio

            Yep - I'm totally with you about the Cook's reward being what's in those bags in the cavity. I especially love to roast the neck (when I don't need it for gravy). Once when I was deep frying a turkey, I secretly fried the neck and gnawed at it standing outside by the pot while the rest of the bird continued to cook. No one ever knew a thing.

            As for the livers, as I've recently posted elsewhere, I either saute them for crostini for myself or "chicken fry" 'em. I have, when discovered, had to share the turkey livers. For a roast chicken at home, however, my wife leaves me alone with my indulgence.

            Also, when I barbecue a large piece of pork (shoulder or ham), I get first crack at as much of the fatty bark as my stomach can handle. Sometimes (ok, every time), I pick a piece or two (or three, or four . . . ) off during the cook - "just to see how it's comin' along".

            Then there are those bits of crusty melted cheese stuck on the tray when I melt something under the broiler. Totally mine!

            1. re: MGZ

              I suspect I get the giblets because no one else wants them. LOL When the bird is carved I get the "part that goes over the fence last" too. Yes also to your "crusty melted cheese" bits. I do worry, though, about too many pork cracklings. Mustn't over do it, you know... But they're so tasty!

              1. re: MGZ

                Mr. Pine used to have to share the turkey liver (his Thanksgiving breakfast while I'm readying all the other stuff) with our 2 cats. Now, they're gone, and sigh, he can't eat the whole liver, thinking of them. (They'd begin growling the second I took the raw, still wrapped bird out of the fridge. And they say dogs have good noses!)

                1. re: pine time

                  Wegmans was abundant with turkey livers after Txgiving, at a ludicrously cheap price - close to a pound for $0.60. This was brunch for me for 4 days in a row. Fabulous sautéed and deglazed with some maple balsamic....

                2. re: MGZ

                  It's 2:50 in The Night of Insomnia, and I'm sitting here drooling. Damn you! :)
                  Want the crispy, fatty skin from a piggy, or a nice chicken.

                3. re: Gio

                  I need to stop putting the liver inside the bird and put it under! YUM. the liver and the oysters are my chef's bits... made the mistake tho of introducing DH to the oyster and now I have to be QUICK! lol.

                4. Known as the "GRINSLEYS" by my BIL's wife and "the bad parts",somebody has the duty to eat by a very dear friend.
                  Shared reluctantly,I would take everything unless someone is in the kitchen,almost always is.The hubby came from a fat phobic house and it was years before he caught on and joined in.
                  All of the little pan edge and bottom bits,mac& cheese,any roast,a little trim around the bottom edge of meat loaf,stray,crunchy bits of fat,crispy poultry skin,brownie and cookies crumbs,just to name a few.

                  Thanksgiving,we do 3 spit roasted geese,the last round of drippings into scooped russet potato skins,then wrapped around a slice of crispy skin.All but maybe two get in line.None in line EVER miss a chance to comment "so and so got a bigger or better piece".This is shared equally with extreme reluctance.

                  19 Replies
                  1. re: lcool

                    "[W]e do 3 spit roasted geese,the last round of drippings into scooped russet potato skins,then wrapped around a slice of crispy skin."

                    I want that. Hell, I'd be cool if you just saved me some of the drippings . . . and, the skin - lots of skin!

                    * * * * *

                    No, actually, I want the whole combination. Or, maybe just whatever you can spare?

                    1. re: MGZ

                      SPARE,,,, you're joking right,never heard of spare goose or duck or ass of the pig,ever

                      The only thing left of the geese when all is done is fumes.The drippings caught and cooked in four rounds.Pan #1 has little gold or cranberry potatoes from the garden,#2 has the riced innards from the russets,#3 pretty salty and time for the spray bottle of wine drips onto peeled,half dry Japanese eggplant,Shitake mushrooms and rosemary that is not served.All into the freezer for another menu.#4 is time for skins and skin

                      This weekend we do another goose and all 4 livers,only shared with 4 more people.This time there will be a SATISFYING amount/ratio of skin and liver.

                      1. re: lcool

                        "This weekend we do another goose and all 4 livers,only shared with 4 more people."

                        I'm available. I'll even help out, if you like. I kinda want to try my fried livers prep on those goose livers.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Your eating ethic would fit right in here.

                          The livers from my geese aren't what most are used to.They lose pasture privileges about a week before butchering and go on a high calorie and carb diet.The liver is very blonde,on the way to fatty.Not foie by any means but not firm and red either.

                          So what's your liver prep?

                          1. re: lcool

                            I've never had a goose liver like that, My foie prep has only even been seared with some type of sweet contrast.

                            My liver prep for turkey and chicken livers, on the other had, is really a fried chicken approach (though I do like a good crostini made from a saute). I like it best with seasoned flour (ground chile, salt, pepper, maybe oregano), egg dip, and then, more seasoned flour. Fry in peanut oil at around 350 to 375 (I usually do it in the turkey fryer while the bird rests so the temp can vary). Crispy crust, creamy gushiness inside - "THAT'S what I'm talkin' about."

                            I just have to say I love the idea of chicken fried goose liver. I'm sure someone has done it, but it still fascinates me.

                            1. re: MGZ

                              I'll get back to you about the "chicken fried" goose liver.These just may be firm enough to pull it off.
                              In for a penny,tempura onion rings and a fig ketsup/gastrique

                              1. re: lcool

                                You can always partially freeze them first. Cut, coat, fry, savor . . .

                                1. re: lcool

                                  There is a Polish deli about 30 minutes away from me that makes a Goose liverwurst. This thread has me thinking that I may go up there, get some, partially freeze it, and chicken fry the slices. I mean, they deep fry butter in the Midwest, right?

                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    Mmmmmmm to this. If I were you, I'd be happily scarfing a sandwich of that, made w. grainy mustard, and maybe a few cornichons on the side. On some gorgeous crusty bread. Hell yes.

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      Yeah, I've got myself convinced to try this idea. The deli that makes the liverwurst is far enough away to make getting there kind of a special treat, and will have to wait until after Christmas. Which is probably smart from an overindulgence point of view.

                                      In the interim, I am going to try and figure out what spices I should use to season the flour and whether there is an appropriate bread (toasted corn rye maybe) or roll for an sandwich. Otherwise, I'm thinking that maybe I should do "Chicken Fried Goose Liverwurst Fingers" with a honey- mustard-fresh horseradish dipping sauce (I'll stick with your grainy mustard idea if I do).

                                      Another thought was to fry a big chunk, with a sufficient coating, and while the inside was still soft and hot, smear it on toasted bread rounds with thinly sliced sweet onions. Sort of like a really over the top version of baked brie.

                                      1. re: MGZ

                                        The "big chunk" idea is a beauiful one. What about making a fast sweet/sour onion&balsamic jam?
                                        For spicing, I'd go easy. Salt and pepper, a'course. If you do the sandwich, you could use a tot of caraway, or maybe some snipped dill to spark it up because that would be beautiful w/ the corn rye. A crusty roll would also be a nice vehicle. I had an amazing foie-burger w/....hold onto your seats...horseradish mustard. Adding honey's a super idea - I adore a tinge of swee w/ all that umami.
                                        Drooling again. I totally want to know what you decide to do.

                                    2. re: MGZ

                                      MGZ

                                      Sorry for the delay.This minute type is just sucky.

                                      I did the goose liver three ways with success,all be it tricky.These were more fat than tissue and blood and SWEAT even after a 40 to 60 second hot salt water blanch and plunge into ice salt water,dry on parchment and trip to freezer for ? 15 minutes.Even then minute,direct salt is a very narrow time line before ANY cooking.

                                      Something I always do with the tiny scraps is a spring roll.Seasoned this time with a pasty combo of green peppercorns,shallots and country ham with radish sprouts,for 6.
                                      "Country Fried" a bit tricky,would have been more successful with conventional poultry liver,duck,chicken or turkey.Room temp,flour dust,frig for minor sweat then to seasoned flour,heavily hit with flaked salt and tiny amount of cayenne,frig again for minor sweat,seasoned flour again and trip to freezer for 10 minutes then fry.Do not get all 12 pieces out at the same time like I did,the second six were too soft and tender.
                                      The 6 "Country Fried" were excellent,fragile idea well worth it.The other 6,soft, I dipped in tempura batter and were also excellent.

                                      I think your wurst idea is fabulous.As a spreadable it would a dubious choice for just flour.BUT as a take on a spring roll using sliced,rolled flat and thin bread,dipped in egg instead of wrappers would be to die for.My bread choices would run tight crumb list from brioche to a sweetish pumpernickle

                        2. re: lcool

                          I would very much like you to adopt me. Please to consider. I'll leave directly after you give me the biggest and best piece. :)
                          Have a marvelous holiday.

                          1. re: mamachef

                            mamachef ,thank you
                            and a HAPPY HANUKKAH to you and yours

                            I don't think adoption is in the cards.However an eating ethic like yours would always guarantee you a place at our table.

                            1. re: lcool

                              Oh, thank you so much for the Holiday wish. So sweet of you!
                              Ok, no adoption. It was the food I wanted anyhoo; so there. But I will come, and bring my savory spinach mushroom kugel to share. How's that?

                              1. re: mamachef

                                Hell,you can cook here.For you,traveling from the opposite coast I would make an exception about the kitchen door.

                                1. re: lcool

                                  mamachef is gonna cook for you? where do i sign up for that program?

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    KaimukiMan
                                    Oh no,you misunderstand.mamachef was going to "bring" her dish,a "savory spinach mushroom kugel".Across the continent to DC or the Atlantic to Italy would bring extreme suffering upon her dish.BAD THING....would hurt her trade goods in an awful way.

                                    I am notorious for the "my kitchen" position and no pot lucks.For safety as much as I don't ever need help,I am fast.My knives are all kept shaving sharp,several with 12" blades and as a trained brigade style chef,PLEASE don't walk behind or crowd me without proper wording etc.So for mamachef,I would include her on my "kitchen and cooking privileges" short but excellent list.She would also go on the list of "carvers maybe not to be trusted" regarding the "bad bits",crusty fat cap and skin etc.

                                    I have room and equipment for three chefs in the kitchen without the outside kitchen where a retired 60" Vulcan,w/spit & salamandre resides.I am just pissy about what is to me work space and with doors,sometimes the only true quiet for me on a 42 acre farm and business.

                                    PS,would welcome you also

                                    1. re: lcool

                                      What a nice welcome! I feel so privileged!
                                      I would cook with/for every single person here, and I would do it with a heart filled w/ happy. :)

                        3. The overdone edges of the brownies after I trim the rest of the pan so they're all nice and square.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: tacosandbeer

                            Amazing. I never thought of doing that. Yum!

                            1. re: California Sunshine

                              I squirrel the trimmings away in a ziploc in the freezer for topping a bowl of ice cream. Assuming there are any left.

                              1. re: tacosandbeer

                                Brilliant! I'm tempted to bake a batch just to do this

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Me too! And I'd mix the edges into the ice cream and let it absorb all the creamy goodness. Something caramelly, or vanilla bean ice cream.

                            2. re: tacosandbeer

                              Mine are the overdone edges of my oatmeal jam bars after I trim them.
                              So good!

                            3. oh, yes -- and angel food cake stickies -- the moist, sticky wonderfulness where the outer crust of an angel food cake sticks just a little to the tube pan. My sister and my dad and I used to fight over it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Thought of this one too before I scrolled down to your post. I would say the "stickies" from ANY cake!