But there’s one special byproduct here that you don’t want to overlook. After cooking the thighs, that sheet pan will be filled with golden goodness. You might be tempted to think it’s just rendered fat and toss it, but it’s much more.
Before you clean up your pan, pour the juices off into a gravy separator, or if you don’t have one, a container with lid to stash in the fridge. If you use the separator, the drippings at the bottom can be separated out now, but if you don’t have one, you can just scoop the fat off the top tomorrow.
You could throw away the fat, but if you have a good recipe that calls for some chicken fat (what they call in Yiddish schmaltz), then save it by all means.
But the rest of it, those golden and now gelatinized drippings are pure chicken flavor. The next time you’re making a soup or sauce for chicken, add some of this and you’ll boost the richness and chicken-y flavor a hundredfold.
Just be forewarned, it won’t keep forever. Use it within a week or so to be sure. But it should freeze just fine too.2
- Of course, we save all the bones for stock, but that’s another tip. ↩
- After all, it’s essentially just super-concentrated chicken stock. ↩
- Image-2-19-17-2-10-PM.dd1bb903fedc4914bf8db912b5297df7: Own photo