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I know it's completely basic, but I've been reading up on alternative ways to make chicken wings (admittedly because I've been trying to find a similar recipe to Korean soy garlic chicken) and I came across this recipe from Momofukufor2.

It mentions rendered chicken fat, and I'm not exactly sure what that meant. I'm familiar with twice fried wings, so is this just another way of saying "the oil you cooked the wings the first time around"?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It is not exactly the oil you used for the chicken wings. The recipe says "a touch of oil", so you should use a small amount only. When you pan-fry the wings the first time around, the fat in them will melt and gather in a puddle in the pan. The oil you used will be there, but most of it will be the chicken's subcutaneous fat. So, after you remove the wings from the pan, whatever is left is considered "rendered chicken fat", even though it will have traces of oil mixed in.

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When heated above 200°F/95°C, the fat in meats will liquify and can be used for cooking. This process is called rendering. As rumtscho said, you're cooking the chicken in the fat released when it was heated the first time.

You can also use a long, low-temperature baking to render the fat out of duck carcasses and skin for use in duck confit. In this case, the fat should be skimmed and filtered with a fine cheesecloth or fine chinois to remove bits of meat.

If you filter the fat from meat and cook off water, it will become very nonperishable, and can be used for cooking for a long time. Bacon and duck fat are liquid gold for cooking, and can make even mundane dishes (roast potatoes) gourmet treats.

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Thanks! The extra information is very much appreciated. :D –  Richard Neil Ilagan Jun 18 '12 at 6:12

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