Posted by: Hil | August 16, 2009

Chicken Fat

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After a week of letting the Lemonator do almost all of the cooking while I scrambled to finish up my jobs and prepare for job interviews, I summoned the motivation to roast a whole chicken, which I knew would provide easy food for the rest of the week.  We picked at the leftovers, cold and hot for several days.  When there was nothing left but bones and a thin layer of meat, I decided to make a simple batch of chicken soup to use the leftovers.  I must have been feeling particularly resourceful the day that I roasted the chicken, because I decided to save the chicken fat that dripped off to the bottom of the pan and keep it in the freezer.  I have come up with a number of ambitious ideas for how to avoid waste in my cooking over the last few months, and this has to be one of the easiest and tastiest.  I cooked the vegetables for the soup in a spoonful of the chicken fat, which added a boost of the flavor to the soup and was much cheaper than using oil or butter.  Yes, chicken fat has more saturated fat than olive oil, but chicken fat is actually 70% unsaturated, so it’s a pretty reasonable choice, especially when you only need a little.

The resulting soup was delicious, and, as usual, even better the next day.  I added a handful of frozen peas to my bowl just before serving to give a pop of freshness and a little bit of texture.  I often do the same thing with spinach or fresh herbs, and I was pleased to fine that the peas also worked well as last minute soup fresheners. 

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In other news, if you have enough interest in food or blogging to even bother to click a link to my blog, I feel pretty confident that you will love Julie & Julia, a movie that tells parallel stories about the life of Julia Child and the life of a woman who wrote a blog about her attempts to cook her way through Julia’s cookbook.  It’s a movie about food and blogging, of course, but its also a movie about finding yourself, about being young and married, and about pursuing the things that you love regardless of where life takes you.  I loved it, as did the Lemonator.  It’s a mellow movie without a lot of dramatic plot twists or even a real climax, but its funny and touching and thoroughly entertaining.  I definitely recommend it.

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