If you are a regular reader of our blog you should be aware that you shouldn’t be pouring the fat from Christmas dinner down the kitchen sink – that will only result in blockages. Here are some alternative uses for it.
Make the perfect turkey gravy
How best to make gravy for your turkey can be a contentious issue. Some use the giblets, some make a broth while others make good use of the fat. This recipe uses turkey fat to make a roux and adds pan drippings for good measure. Delicious to pour all over your roast potatoes and meat.
Traditional Jewish cookery makes use of schmaltz – a spread or cooking oil made from the fat from chicken and other poultry including turkey or goose.
Schmaltz was used widely before vegetable oils and fats became popular in the twentieth century, but now people realise that quality fat is necessary for good health. Why not make some and try your hand using it to prepare some traditional Jewish fare such as potato latkes or matzo balls.
You may know the word schmaltz, as an American Jewish term for “overly sentimental” – that’s because many Jews look back fondly to the time when schmaltz was used frequently around the home kitchen.
Use pan drippings to flavour food
Left over pan drippings from your roast turkey can be poured off into a separate container and used later to flavour a host of dishes such as soups, stews and mashed potatoes.
You can freeze them in ice cube size quantities and store them for months, adding a few to a casserole to lift the flavour.
The perfect roast potatoes
It’s not unusual to cook a number of roast dinners over the Christmas period. If you are having a goose on Christmas day, save some of the fat to use when making your next batch of roast potatoes later on that week. All the top chefs – from Jamie Oliver to Nigella Lawson insist on goose fat to make the perfect roast potato – citing its superior taste and ability to make them crispier.
….but don’t give turkey fat to garden birds
It’s a widely held belief that offering turkey fat to birds is a good use of the leftover. But, it would seem, it’s not. According to the RSPB, because the fat remains soft it can ruin their feathers and also run the risk of giving them food poisoning. Offer our little feathered friends crumbs from the Christmas cake and mince pies instead.