Throwing Away Fat

Does anyone else find it weird that we often throw away animal fat when cooking and then buy shortening?

I was setting up some chicken to go in the crock pot. I’d roasted a chicken and being utterly lazy, had just covered the chicken in its pan and put it in the fridge. When I took it out to put in the crock pot to make stock, there was a layer of solidifed fat over the gelatin.

Now, I always put the gelatin back in the crock pot with the bones and meat scraps to make the stock, but I often throw away the fat (if you’ve been raised in the Jewish cooking tradition, stop howling. I’m not one of the Chosen people and grew up in the dietary fat-phobic 1980s).

Looking at the amount of fat I’d taken off, I frowned and realized that was about as much fat as I’d use for dumplings when making chicken and dumplings (which I intend to do tonight).

So, tonight, I’m going to use that to make the dumplings. I bet they’ll taste awesome made that way.

My mother tells me that her grandmother used to save bacon fat and use that the way we’d use shortening to make biscuits. I bet they tasted amazing, too.

I do think that maybe in throwing away the fat, especially if we’re going to be adding other fat to the food, anyway, mebbe we’re being pretty wasteful.