Test Kitchen tips: Skimming with a paper towel
If you need to remove a small amount of fat from the surface of a soup, stock or other hot liquid, skim the fat using a paper towel. Gently lay a flat paper towel over the surface of the liquid, and pull it across the surface to absorb the fat. Continue until the fat is gone, using new paper towels as needed. This won't work for large amounts of fat (best to break out the ladle for that one), but is a great tip when you want to catch that last little bit on the surface of your soup.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Chicken with dumplings (get the recipe). Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times