19 February, 2015
FAT CHICKEN PIE
I must say that I have never tried to use chicken fat and skin as a base of a recipe, or as in any other form until now.
The following recipe puts on hold any other commonly used fats in recipes like butter, olive oil or lards. The results are outstanding, not only in taste but in money savings and in utilizing waste material. Skinless chicken is always more expensive than bone in with skin chicken breast.
Here are some interesting facts about chicken skin:
Nutritional Value of Chicken Skin
Chicken skin is generally composed of fat and protein. According to nutritionists, 34 grams of boiled chicken skin contains approximately 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein and 50 milligrams of cholesterol and sodium combined. On the average, this amount of chicken skin contains about 160 calories. In addition, most of the fat in chicken comes from saturated fat that is associated with animal-based oils and fats, and this has long been believed to be unhealthy for long term consumption. Today, many research has been done on the importance and benefits of saturated fat consumption.
The nutritional value of chicken skin makes it very nutritious for growing children, who require natural proteins and fat in their diet in order for healthy and proper development. In addition, the presence of high amounts of the collagen protein makes chicken skin beneficial for good skin. According to traditional Chinese recipes, chicken skin is good for creating smooth skin in women.
Here is a great idea next time you buy chicken breasts. Buy it with bone and skin and you will get extra benefits at lower price. Boil it to make a healing broth first; then, remove fat content deposits from on top once it has been overnight in the fridge. Don’t discard the gelatin you see underneath; use it together with the fat to make the following recipe.
Ingredients for dough:
- 2 Cups plain unbleached wheat flour
- 3 Tbsp honey or turbinado sugar
- Chicken fat removed after boiling or after broth made.
Ingredients for filling:
- 5-10 skin from chicken breasts (ask your local butcher, might with it out for free)
- 2 halves of chicken breasts
- 1/2 Onion any kind
- 3 garlic gloves sliced or chopped
- 5 Bay leaves
- 3 large olives any kind but pitted and cut in rounds
- 1 Tsp Organic Italian herbs
- 2 Small and thin carrots cut in rounds
- 2 Heaping large spoonful of tomato paste
- 1/4 Cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Because I got extra chicken skin for free from a butchery shop. They actually throw then away after chopping chicken for their sales. I was able to recollect extra fat and save it for future. I have been using it instead of oil or butter to cook pretty much everything. Is saturated fat, so it’s resistant to heat and doesn’t turn into trans fat.
STEP I Can be done ahead several days in advance. Gently boil all the skins (if you can get any extra) and the 2 chicken half breasts with skin in, in a pot with water and 1/4 whole onion but chop thinly the other 1/4 of the onion and save for later use in this recpe. Add to the water 3 bay leaves and some extra spices if you wish, but no salts. Boil all together for a total of 30 minutes. Set aside, remove only the breasts to cool down and proceed to prepare dough.
STEP II The dough is simple. Combine all the ingredients together, and while the grease of the boiling water still hot, pour little by little until finding a smooth and manageable consistency of the dough (make sure most of the fat incorporates with the flour and not so much of the liquid). If you are doing this later after cooling overnight the broth and removing the fat next day, simply use the solid fat and slightly micro wave to melt and use in the same way with some liquid from thee broth you made the day before.
After incorporating flour with fat and broth, divide in half the dough and spread each halve like shown in the picture. Take a 9″ pie pan and place one round of dough in it making sure to cover completely the side of the pan.
STEP III Mix together the balsamic and the tomato paste (you might need to add some water to blend well). Prepare the filling by simply saute the onions and garlic slightly together using 3 tablespoons of the chicken fat in a medium size pot. Don’t let the onions and garlic burn! because you will be distracted shredding the boiled chicken breasts by hand.
Add the chicken to the saute in pan and then the rest of the ingredients, including the balsamic and tomato mix. Stir well and let cook over medium heat while adding slowly 2 to 3 cups of the liquid broth with some skin fat all together. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes or so until this filling mixture looks a bit dry but not too much.
STEP IV Set oven to 425 degrees. Pour chicken filling done in step III into the pan and then cover with the other round of dough, pressing tightly on to the borders. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
What to do with the remaining chicken fat?
By separating the broth from the skins you can easily store the liquid away for two purposes: As a tasty chicken stock and as cooking lard. First, take all the liquid with the fat and pour it inside a freezer container. Let it stand overnight in the refrigerator and then next day you will see all the fat solid sitting on top of the liquid stock. Just separate the fat using a spoon and store it in a separate container in the fridge. Use the remaining fat for stir fries or another dough. Use the stock as base for gravies or soups. As for the skin, if you have a dog or a cat, I am sure they’ll enjoy eating it, if your choice is not for personal consumption, please don’t waste. This could be also a good healthy treat for a pet cat or dog. It will make a better treat and food than most of the heavily processed animal foods worth lots of money.