Last night’s dinner was a 3 pasture raised egg omelette filled with leftover collard greens that I recently made in the crockpot (just used some chicken stock, onions, whole garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, spicy and delicious). And a side of my paleo toast. I’m becoming a master omelette maker. The key is low heat, a well greased pan, and patience. Take a look:
You may notice how my toast is glistening. No, that’s not butter, a paleo no-no (although you can make a good case for clarified butter, aka ghee, being okay to use on paleo, but I still stay away from it). It’s actually a throw back to my youth, something my grandmother used to spread on bread or matzoh with a little kosher salt sprinkled on top. She called it schmaltz, but the cruder name is chicken fat!
Okay, stop throwing up in your mouth, chicken fat is actually quite amazing, both in taste, and in health! As I’ve said before, when the low-fat craze hit, we used to laugh and cringe about how our grandmother gave us that schmaltz/bread/salt concoction. Now that we know better, who would have realized years later that the chicken fat was actually the healthiest part of that meal?!
Now I’m not saying all chicken fat is healthy. If your chicken eats corn, and soy, and is injected with growth hormones and antibiotics, and packed into a giant pen squeezed in with thousands of other chickens and can barely move, then I wouldn’t say any part of that chicken is healthy, so stay away from it. But if your chicken roams freely on grass, and enjoys a diet of whatever it can find like bugs, worms, seeds, and grasses, then that animal is completely healthy, and everything in it is healthy as well, especially the fat!
When a wild animal kills another wild animal, the flesh isn’t the treat they’re looking for, it’s the fat. Fat in the organs, and bone marrow. Wild animals know instinctively that they need Omega-3 fat to stay healthy. And all wild animals are filled with Omega-3 fat. The salmon industry does a good job of marketing how rich fish are in Omega-3, but really all wild animals have it, not just salmon. By the way, a farm raised salmon doesn’t have any of the healthy Omega-3 fat, they just have the bad saturated fat doctors warn you to stay away from. This is the same reason we eat grass-fed beef on paleo, because the animal is leaner, and the fat is healthier. Saturated yes, but don’t get scared, it’s a good saturated fat, like in a coconut.
So recently I made some chicken stock from a pasture raised chicken, put it in the fridge overnight, and in the morning there was a wonderful layer of fat on the top. I skimmed that fat and put it in a jar.
Admit it, it doesn’t look as bad as you thought it would does it? It doesn’t taste like butter, but it is creamy, savory, melts easily, and is absolutely delicious! I spread some on a slice of fresh baked paleo nut bread for my friend, and didn’t tell her what it was. She flipped out at how good it was. I told her it was a spread my grandmother used to make, and never explained it was chicken fat, which I know would’ve made her gag. But I couldn’t stop eating it! I cooked my omelette in it, and spread it on my toast. It really tastes great, and is extremely healthy. Plus, animal fat has a high smoke point, so it’s better for cooking than any of the paleo allowable oils.
I’ve cooked with beef fat before, and the smell doesn’t always agree with me, but cooking with chicken fat smells like Thanksgiving, a smell I think we can all agree is pleasant and mouth watering (admit it vegetarians and vegans, even you like the smell). I plan on using this jar just as I would if it were filled with butter, only my heart won’t get clogged, and my weight won’t go up. I’m not lactose intolerant, but if you are, I suggest you give this a try. Just call it schmaltz, or your friends might think twice about trying it. Enjoy! Ugga-Bugga!