Many meats release fat when they’re cooked. That fat is solid at room temperature and will return to its solid state post-cooking. Save bacon, chicken, or duck fat, for example, in a clean glass jar and use it instead of butter when you’re cooking.
If you’ve purchased a whole chicken or a bone-in roast, make the most of it. After you’ve cooked the meat, place the cleaned bones into a pot with water, vegetables, and seasonings to make a flavorful stock.
Many recipes call for fresh chopped herb leaves. Scraps of herbs (like parsley or cilantro) that don’t have woody stems can be added to soups, stocks, or braises for extra flavor. Simply tie the stems together with a clean piece of kitchen string, add them to simmering liquids, and remove them before serving the dish.
Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Rind
Even if you can’t grate any more cheese from the rind, you’ve still got a lot of flavor at your disposal. Toss the rinds of hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano into sauces and soups; just be sure to remove the rind before serving.
An easy replacement for breadcrumbs, the crumbs of non-sugary cereal left in the bag make a great crust for fried chicken, fish, or other meats.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.