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Pastry Dough for Savory Pie Using Rendered Chicken Fat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

This is a rich pie crust. It uses lard but you can easily substitute Crisco shortening for the lard. I did and it turned out just fine.

I am not an expert baker. Baking is not where I excell but this recipe worked fine and over time I am sure I will refine my technique.

2 1/2 cup flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco or lard
1/4 cup cold chicken fat*
6 tablespoons ice water


Combine flour and salt.

Cut in shortening/lard and reserved cold chicken fat  until size of small peas has formed from the flour and fats.

Add water by tablespoons while mixing with a fork until all flour is moistened and dough forms ball.

On a rainy day it will take less water as the humidity in the air will saturate the flour. (Note here that alot of cooks don't bake pastries on rainy days.)

Divide the dough in half. Using a tiny bit of flour to dust with you can roll out both of your crusts. Don't use too much flour, just a dusting or your pie crust will suffer. Work quickly to keep everything as cold as possible.

*If you do not render your own you can find it in a Jewish grocery or in the ethnic isle at your market labled as schmalz.


Edited by MissPrissy - 1/8/08 at 5:43am
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post #2 of 8

MissPrissy, thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one.  I've been rendering chicken fat for several years now, and using it in pie crusts (only savory so far, but the taste isn't really obvious so I may start using it in fruit pies as well), and for sauteeing potatoes, and the like.  I use about 2/3 butter, 1/3 chicken fat for my pastry.  Butter alone doesn't make the best pastry, and I don't use margarine or shortening anymore.  Lard makes lovely pastry, but I don't buy the supermarket kind, and don't have pigs of my own LOL.  The butter gives a nice flavor, the other fat helps the texture.

I usually use the crock pot method of rendering, and generally cut the fat into small pieces first.  The little "cracklings" that are left make a nice "sprinkle" on veggies or salads, or I sometimes add some to cornbread batter.

We had goose for Christmas a few years ago;  goose fat is also good in cooking.  In Germany they cook it gently with onions and herbs, and/or sometimes chopped apple, and use it as a spread for bread (they also often do the same with lard).  I'm rather partial to it once in a great while, with a good hearty German bread.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have read that the rendered goose and chicken fat has been long used as a spread for bread. I can image especially in despression eras that bread and the flavor of the fat filled many empty tummies and made one chicken last much longer in feeding a family.

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post #4 of 8

My mother told me that when my uncle brought home his German bride in the late 1940's the family thought she was very strange because she ate goose fat.  I must admit to always thinking that the family was right - "oooh gross, goose fat!" - until I met and married my German husband.  He's not overly fond of the stuff himself, but through him I learned that it can be quite a nice spread for bread occasionally.  BTW, it is used by itself on really nice, hearty German bread, open faced - no added sandwich ingredients, the "Schmalz" is the point, not the separation between bread and something else.  This is, of course, the fat with added onion, herbs, whatever.  In a cold German winter it was probably a nice addition for helping keep warm, kind of like scratch for the chickens LOL.  And certainly a money saver over store bought butter.

post #5 of 8

My Nourishing Traditions cookbook (by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig, Ph.D.) mentioned that "duck & goose fat are highly prized in Europe for frying potatoes."

My grandmother used to sell live chickens to the Jewish families in Nashville and their Rabbi would do the butchering.  MissPrissy, your mention of the Jewish grocery reminded me of my grandmother.  Thanks! smile She and her mother were the legendary bakers in my family. 

ORChick, your culinary story was so interesting, thanks for sharing.

"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny" - Thomas Jefferson
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"If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny" - Thomas Jefferson
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post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a little of the fat reserved and I was thinking about sauteeing some fingerling potatoes in it tonight. My two youngest kids are huge potato eaters and at times won't eat anything else on the table but the potatoes.

hencackle - I am in no way close to being a good baker much less a legendary one but I am trying to make things that my kids will remember fondly. Food traditions from childhood are one thing most of us always remember.

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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissPrissy 

Food traditions from childhood are one thing most of us always remember.


Isn't that the truth. My mother is from French Canadian "Baker" stock and boy could she cook/bake. The recipes are lost forever due to the fact she quit baking once she hit the states & had no wheat grinder. The recipes would have been a "handful of this" "a pinch of that" & "add cream till consistency of" kind of a deal but through first hand experience still "hand-me-down-able". barniehe

My brother thinks he's a chicken - we don't talk him out of it because we need the eggs.
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My brother thinks he's a chicken - we don't talk him out of it because we need the eggs.
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Our family is really large. All of our get togethers meant good food and lots of laughter. Some of my dearest memories are from my grandmother's kitchen. I can close my eyes and see her there. She seemed to always be in some state of making biscuits, washing dishes or standing in front of her stove. There was always a pot of coffee waiting or one on the way. I really miss her.

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