Make Use Of Roast Chicken Pan Drippings For Amplified Croutons

Let's face the facts, croutons are undeniably and inexplicably delicious. Offering an intense crunch and toasty nuances, they can make any dish better — salad or otherwise. Yet, just when you thought that the golden morsels couldn't get any better, let us be the first to introduce another method that'll easily amp up the flavor. To take croutons to the next level, simply bake them in pan drippings the next time you roast chicken.

Pan drippings are basically a collection of fats, juices, and browned bits of fond that accumulate at the bottom of a roasting pan as meat (in this case, poultry) cooks. Too rich and flavorful to let go to waste, the simplest way to repurpose these drippings is not to use them as the base for a pan sauce, but use them in their natural state as an umami-forward seasoning. That said, since bread is a great vessel to soak up all that savory goodness, drippings can easily transform chunks of bread into ultra-complex croutons that rival all others. 

How to bake the best pan dripping croutons

Despite that you could wait until chicken has been roasted and drippings have been collected, this process involves far too many steps as you would then need to toss pieces of bread into drippings, and then bake them into croutons. Instead, the best method to flavor croutons with poultry pan drippings is to add everything to the roasting pan at once.

Working smarter and not harder, we recommend scattering rustically torn pieces of oil-laced bread into the bottom of a pan before placing the seasoned chicken on top. Doing this will not only save you time and require significantly less effort, but it will also produce a better result as the croutons placed directly under the chicken will directly absorb pan drippings and swell with chicken flavored juices. In contrast, the croutons placed around the chicken will instead become crisp, caramelized, and subtly aromatic. 

As for which bread works best, feel free to use any variety that you see fit. Baguette or brioche, the choice is yours. In fact, you can even repurpose stale bread for this recipe. The only thing to remember is not to make croutons too small as this will increase the risk of burning. Other than that, there's nothing standing in your way to a tastier chicken dinner, complete with even tastier croutons.