Ruby Goss

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

For both environmental and ethical reasons, I choose to only cook meat occasionally at home and when I do prefer to choose organic, quality-reared, and free range meat and use it wisely. With this “zero waste” recipe, we’ve made it easy to get the most out of a single chicken with suggestions on how to use both the rendered chicken fat, off cuts, and the carcass.

Zero waste roast chicken

Zero waste roast chicken

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It requires you to spatchcock a chicken—a hand’s-on process for which we have a how-to that you can watch here. To many, including myself, it’s not the most comfortable of tasks, but, at the risk of sounding moralistic, it definitely encourages me to think about the source of my food and how I consume and use meat.

Here are some suggestions for making your roast chicken into a zero waste meal: Firstly, if you have leftover meat—reserve it for salads or sandwiches. Don’t throw away the offcuts from spatchcocking, or the cooked carcass. Add these to an oven tray and roast for about one hour at 350°F (180°C)—this deepens the flavor.

Afterwards, add your roasted chicken bones to a large stock pot along with some salt and aromatics like onions, garlic, carrot, celery, and black peppercorns, and simmer on low for up to four hours. Bottle it up and use it as a base for soups or to enrich sauces. I used some of the pan juices to create a sauce for the chicken, and the rest is jarred up and stored in the fridge for later use. The chicken schmalz solidifies and can be used as a fat to roast potatoes or as a cooking fat for further dishes.

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