While I enjoy a snout, an ear, a pizzle, a rack, a hoof, a cheek, a milt, a collar, a jowl, and a plate of scrapple far more than a boneless chicken breast, or even a dry-aged steak, the fact is I generally buy what is most accessible and that usually means more conventional cuts of meat.
So, since about 25% of food waste happens in the home, one’s own kitchen seems a good place to cook nose-to-tail.
Monsterous chicken leg-thigh quarters that usually sell for under a dollar a pound provide a good object lesson:
1. Cut out the bones and cook them with any food scraps into a broth.
2. The skin is pure fuel, chop it up and melt in a heavy skillet. Crisp chicken skin and onions, gribenes, is essentially kosher bacon. The rendered fat can be used to saute the meat; chilled into schmaltz (substitute for butter), or in place of lard. If the idea of cooking with chicken fat disgusts you, store it in a coffee can and use it to impregnate old newspaper or sawdust as a fuel.
3. The skinless boneless leg and thigh meat can be cut, pounded, chopped, or ground. The smaller the pieces the less energy it takes to cook.
4. Deglaze the pan with the broth as the basis for a sauce, a soup, or a pot of jumbalya/biriyani/pilaf/dirty rice.
If you do it right, nose-to-tail will reduce your clean up and breathe new life to a decidedly un-hip food term, the clean plate (and pan) club.