Turkey or chicken scratchings

Turkey scratchings, cooked in lard

Turkey scratchings, cooked in lard

Here’s a quick one. I’d saved the Christmas turkey legs in the freezer and was about to debone them, the meat for a curry and the remainder for a stock. But there was all that lovely skin and I had other plans for that instead of flavouring the stock.

Every now and again I do a Hugh Fearney-Whittingstall idea of turning chicken skin into scratchings but I couldn’t find it again in any of his books when it came to refreshing my memory. I seem to recall he cooked one inch squares of skin in a little water at first. The water boiled off to be replaced by the fat which came out of the skin.

So I looked on the internet. No mention of water but lard. I heated up a cast iron frying pan, added a nugget of lard, waited until it melted and gently fried the pieces of skin, using a heat diffuser. You probably need to turn the skin over a couple of times with a fork to ensure even frying.

It took about an hour until they were golden brown and crisp. I drained them on kitchen paper and added plenty of sea salt and ground black pepper. Lovely. I poured off the lard, hoping it would give me a kind of dripping for breakfast. There was no jelly of course but the lard was highly flavoured and quite delicious.

So that was a curry, soup, scratchings and ‘dripping’ all from two turkey legs. Isn’t thrift wonderful?

FOOTNOTE: I recently boned and stuffed eight chicken thighs, saved the skin and turned it into scratchings, as above. Very tasty, sprinkled with a little salt.

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