Reducing waste and using local products sustainably is very important to the chef duo, Ricky Casipe and Oliva Simpson, known as Ricky + Olivia. When creating recipes, they keep this in mind and look for ways to get creative with ingredients that might have otherwise been overlooked. This classic staple on their restaurant menus is inspired by the classic Italian carbonara, but instead of using bacon or guanciale, they use chicken skins and schmaltz; ingredients that are often left over after breaking down a roast or cooked chicken.
In a medium pot, add chicken skins and ¼ cup of water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, about every 5-8 minutes. This will take about 45 minutes - 1 hour. You want the fat to completely render off the chicken skins, leaving them crisp and golden, they will look like fried chicken or crackling.
Strain chicken skins and reserve strained fat (schmaltz).
Lay chicken skins to cool on a paper towel to absorb any remaining oil and season with salt. Set aside. Once cooled, break apart any large pieces.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 40 g (or 2 tablespoons) of schmaltz and slowly stir in cream. The mixture will emulsify as it comes up to a boil.
Once the cream and schmaltz come together to a boil, lower the heat to medium and allow the sauce to slowly reduce.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling, salted water, until al dente or desired doneness.
Once cooked, remove pasta from water and add to the pan with the cream sauce, reserving and adding a couple spoonfuls of the pasta water to help thicken the sauce.
Add ¼ cup grated cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Stir and toss to evenly coat pasta with sauce. Add bitter greens and remove the pan from heat.
Stir until well combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide pasta into two bowls and garnish each with remaining cheese and crispy chicken skins.
Separate an egg yolk from the white, and in the centre of each bowl, gently top each pasta with a yolk.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.