My mother always said, everything in moderation. Of late, I’m trying to reduce the amount of meat we are eating in favour of vegetables.
I’ve gotten in the habit now of roasting a chicken with onions, carrots and other veggies, but only at holidays do I use the same pan to make gravy from drippings. Most people throw away whatever is left over in their skillet or roasting pan, but this stuff is one of the most under utilized meat seasonings and what I call yummy bits.
I’m already working towards healthier eating by using Maple Leaf Natural Selections bacon and this bacon, egg fiasco only happens once every couple of weeks. All the grease goes into a waxed food container and then into the freezer. I’ll use a small amount in dishes like fried breakfast potatoes or with ground beef to make a smoky spicy chili. Even a poor man’s Cassoulet can be enhanced by using bacon fat with haricot beans, garlic, herbs, cloves, tomatoes and tomato puree. I admit that using bacon yummy bits in these recipes is a pathetic way of doing a non-vegetarian vegetarian meals, but it works for me. Using yummy bits also usually means I’ve got enough flavour umph and add no extra salt.
After roasting a chicken, I remove the it and the veggies to a platter. The pan goes into the fridge to let the fat solidify on the top. Once solid, the fat is scraped into the composting bucket and the yummy bits go into the fridge or freezer.
This mix of fat, spices, carrots, onions, Brussels sprouts, etc and chicken makes a great starter for soup with vegetarian broth and fine noodles or a risotto with white wine. You get all the meat flavour without the extra meat. Now I just have to figure out a recipe for yummy bits with tofu!