Where do we find beef fat and chicken fat?

Chicken or Beef Fat. Ready to use in dumplings.

We find beef fat on the cow and chicken fat on the chicken.

Basic…I know…but it had to be said.

Beef Fat

Let’s talk about beef fat first. Probably the easiest way to get the fat is to order a whole or half beef for freezing for future eating.  Let the butcher know you want fat and, also, the bones, if you want to make broth. But that means you need a freezer and not everyone has one, or wants one.

So, you can always go to a butcher and ask him for suet or tallow fat. They are about 70% to 80% saturated fats. When you get the fat home cut it into small pieces or even grind it and put some into a heavy pan over a low fire to get things started. Then keep adding more. Do not fill kettle so it will not boil over.

Slowly the chunks of fat will give up their oil. Watch and stir frequently to keep it from sticking and scorching. As the water is evaporated the temperature will rise slowly from 212 but don’t let it go above 255 degrees. The brown cracklings will start to float  but don’t let them sink and scorch.  Stop the cooking!   Let it cool a bit. Strain the fat through 3 layers of cheese cloth. Store in covered containers in a refrigerator or freezer or other cool spot.

Another suggestion is to save the extra fat from your cooking pan in a jar until it is full.  Melt and strain the fat. Label. Refrigerate.

Chicken Fat

This is from memory and some….When the folks killed one of the old layers it became a stewing hen.  There was always some fat just inside. Take what you can and set the old hen into a pot. Cover with  4 quarts of water and 2 T vinegar, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery and an onion. Let set for 1 hour. Bring to a boil, skim it well and turn the temperature to barely simmering for up to 24 hours.

Cool enough to handle the meat and bones. Remove vegetables. Pour broth and fat through the straining cloth. Place in refrigerator.  Well cooked  soft bones  and skin go to the dogs.

The meat can be put into soup, for burritos, chicken salad, creamed on potatoes, toast, biscuits, with mayonnaise for sandwich spread, curries, stew, soup, scrambled eggs, pizza, tamales, turnovers, etc…

The next day the broth should be jellied with the layer of fat on top. Pull up a piece of fat and scrape off  the broth. Rinse it with water. Place it in a pan and melt it. Strain the fat into a pan or into container(s).Refrigerate or freeze. Label

Oops, we still have the  large bowl of jellied(?) chicken broth. If you are not using it immediately fill jars or yogurt or cottage cheese containers. Label and date. If the broth is jellied and you are short of containers place a piece of wax paper on the cookie sheet and place blobs of broth on the sheet. Freeze. Place in large ziploc. Label

We have found our beef and chicken fat and it is put away…ready for use.

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