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Feb 11, 2013 10:40 AM

Delicious drippings from my roasted chickens...

There are a lot of threads out there about chicken fat, schmaltz, drippings, etc. so forgive me if this has already been asked.

Each week I bring a chicken home from the farmers market and roast it in a cast iron skillet. Occasionally I make gravy from the drippings, but mostly I just pour them out.

Any suggestions on how to use the rendered fat that floats to the top, as well as the delicious brown liquid at the bottom (is that like a bouillon?) I'm sure I could fry up potatoes, etc., but I'm just not sure on the specifics (do I use it all or cut it with another fat? high or low heat? oven or stovetop?) Looking for specific methods/recipes, as well as proper storage.

P.S. I do save the carcasses for making stock; do the fat or drippings contribute to stock-making in any way?

Thanks everyone!

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  1. Welcome to Chowhound! Your FM chicken sounds delicious; jealousy here. The brown bits on the bottom of your roasting pan, AKA cast iron skillet, are what the French call "fond". They contribute so much flavor that I am loathe to discard them.

    Do you deglaze the pan after doing a simple roasted chicken? If so, what do you use for liquid?
    NB: this is different from making gravy.
    Have you tried simultaneously roasting vegetables with the chicken?

    If you don't want all the fat, tip the skillet away from you and use a large spoon to skim much of the fat off the top.
    If you decide to use some or all of the fat, it will contribute significant flavor. Try slow-cooking (stove-top, low heat) one or two chopped or sliced onions for caramelized onions that you can keep in the fridge to add to other dishes. I like them on a grilled cheese sandwich, the beginnings of very good soup or added to a pasta sauce; they are like money in the bank when you're in a hurry.

    I freeze ALL the bits of chickens, including fat, for stock. After making the batch, I refrigerate it so the fat floats to the top and congeals. It can be removed (and discarded) or stirred into the stock itself -- your choice. Currently, our waistlines dictate discarding it.

    In this house, it would be considered a sin to throw away any of the fond. It can be flavored many different ways and adds richness to the finished dish. Since this is your first post, would you tell us a bit about your cooking expertise, likes/dislikes, etc so that we can provide more specific assistance. I don't want to go on and on giving you specifics for dishes that do not suit you.

    1. Here's one of my favorite recipes for leftover chicken drippings (and the chicken):

      She uses the chicken for the recipe on the first night, but I usually have so much leftover that I save the juices and shred the extra chicken for day 2. Makes a nice change from the usual leftover chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

        I've been meaning to try this recipe for a while but somehow I never want to turn my freshly roasted chicken into pasta! I love the idea of making this dish with leftovers (Like the original poster, I usually have leftover fat and jus and don't always get around to using them like I should). Thanks - this one is going in the "leftover roasted chicken" file.

      2. You could scrape it up and use it for crash hot potatoes (use it instead of the oil):

        My husband and son like to add it to white rice.

        Or do the Zuni chicken bread salad--I use more of the fat/juices than the recipe calls for. Actually, I just use the chicken fat instead of olive oil to coat the bread.

        1. I was just going to say ZUNI CAFE ROAST CHICKEN with bread salad made from drippings not oil.

          But chowser beat me to it!

          Make sure you dry brine the chicken, too...

          1. I'd use the fat for frying potatoes and other veggies, if you have enough fat not need to cut it with other oils etc. I also use the fat for broths by cooking the onions, carrots and celery, makes for a great base.