Monday, May 9, 2011

Duck Fat Green Garlic Home-fried Potatoes - Skin for the Win

I'm just guessing, but I bet there's some old French kitchen expression that roughly translates to, "Hey, it has crispy, fried duck skin crumbled over the top, how bad can it be?" This video recipe for duck fat homefries is perfect when you find yourself in possession of this highly coveted ingredient.

The recipe is the easy part, finding duck skin is a little more challenging. The easiest method of attainment is to know a duck hunter. They can hook you up faster than you can say, "Nice Elmer Fudd hat." If that's not an option, try and make friends with line cooks who work at restaurants that serve duck. They can make it happen, and it will probably only cost you a couple draft beers.

Finally, you can go to a butcher that sells whole ducks, and have him break one down for you. Tell them you'd like two nicely trimmed breasts, two leg quarters, and all the excess skin from the rest of the carcass. They will smile knowingly, and say no problem (for extra credit, ask for the bones, which you can roast and make a killer stock).

Once you have your precious skin, the recipe is a breeze. If you can find green garlic, it's very nice in this, but regular onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, etc. are a fine substitute. These potatoes would sure make a memorable side dish to a seared, sous vide duck breast, or how about as a plate-mate to a creamy goat cheese omelet? By the way, I'm much hungrier now than I was when I started this post. Enjoy!


Ingredients:
1 cup duck skin and fat trimmings
4 small russet potatoes
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup chopped green garlic (light parts)

View the complete recipe

36 comments:

hilah said...

Good grief. I'm totally jealous of how your kitchen must have smelled.

Chef John said...

It smelled ridiculously good :-)

Anonymous said...

what's the substitute for duck skin and fat trimmings???

Chef John said...

there is none! maybe unsmoked bacon?

Anonymous said...

pancetta??

Chef John said...

Sure!

philogaia said...

Whenever I find myself in possession of duck fat it goes into a pan with potatoes. I haven't thought of rendering the skin and using the cracklings, though. Yup, sounds amazing. And I've been really enjoying green garlic this year. It is my current favorite member of the allium family. Guess I'll have to score some duck skin and I'm going for the whole duck.

youthculture said...

my butcher in this neighborhood is sadly lacking, but this recipe looks divine. i know bacon is the first thing most people will go to for an alternative fat, but i'm wondering if it'll crisp up as well as it did with the duck? i'm not sure if there's a delicious mammal with similar properties that my butcher won't make a face at me for.

Chef John said...

you can also buy a frozen whole duck and do it yourself.

Anonymous said...

chef john, you're the best! =D

Chris K. said...

Sometimes I come across a duck recipe advising the cook to discard the skin, and I feel a strong urge to punch the author in the face.

Duck cracklings are like popcorn wearing sexy, silky lingerie.

tkriger said...

I may have to try this with the last of my homemade bacon. Yes it is smoked - but I think it would turn out awesome.

youthculture said...

oh, that's true -- good way to practice my butchering skills, at least.

thanks!

Chef John said...

lol, well said chris!

Anonymous said...

I have been watching for the amazing trick to cutting sandwiches. Did I miss it? On the bias and at a diagonal? Is that the whole story?

Asian Malaysian said...

Chef John, when you do carry out that blanching step I find adding a splash of vinegar to the blanching water adds a lil sumtin sumtin to roasted taters.

Anonymous said...

OK. Looks delicious. Now about that Bobby Flay sandwich cutting technique...........

Carey said...

I spent several hours on your blog the other night. I love, love, love, love, love (did I mention love?) it.

I'm only starting to venture into unknown territories with my cooking and I find your videos to be not only informative but at the same time entertaining, which is crucial for me (who wants to watch another boring cooking demonstration?). They're the PERFECT length, and I just adore your sense of humor. :)

I found myself thinking of your recipes when I did my grocery shopping the other day. I even bought a couple ingredients I never would have bought before (tomatillos? Hello!).

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to say you have a new fan. I even registered at Saveur to vote for you. Hope you win.

Keep up the AWESOME work -- you're talented, inspiring, entertaining and to top it off a wonderfully addictive blogger. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Thanks! Glad you found us. :-)

Pantalone said...

Oh Yeah ... DUCK FAT! AAOOOOOOOOOOOO ................ er, sorry.

Anonymous said...

no salt and/or pepper?

Chef John said...

Yes! Watch again ;-)

Michael said...

I need to get into some duck rendering. It will also make duck confit possible. I'm curious though, if you rendered the fat from one duck, how much fat would you get in quarts?

Chef John said...

sorry, never measured, but I'm sure you can find online. or you can buy duck fat fairly easily.

Hilding said...

Haha omg I love you =D

Steve said...

Food porn!

Yum.

esztiklock said...

Here in Hungary duck fat is an everyday fat. Very popular spread on fresh, thick crusted bread with onion and hungarian paprika. It is a delicious and cheap "snack" at any gathering :)

Azi said...

excellent post chef Jphn!

actually, there is an easy to find substitute for duck fat, but it is not as good (well, nothing is...).
you can use chicken skin, aka the source of real Jewish margarine. the skin won't be as crisp (its thinner) and the the fat is not as tasty (again, nothing is), but it is lip-smacking-good, and according to my grandma good for-ya.

the skin on the thighs has the most fat, typically if you buy leg&thigh quarters it has even more fat (from the tail area).

not exactly the same but much easier to find.

Kurt Ozan said...

How would I get duck skin aside from buying an entire duck?

Chef John said...

from a butcher that sells duck

Anonymous said...

Maybe I overcooked them... not sure, but my duck skin cracklings are reminiscent of pork skins... did I do something wrong? Is this right?

Chef John said...

That's how they are! :)

Ln Rossignol said...

Ho wow... Use a good pinch of fresh chopped parsely and you have the "patates sarladaises" my granny cooked me everytime I visited her. =D

1Bigg_ER said...

Central Market carries Grimaud rendered duck fat. $12.50/lb

Jonathan Leong said...

Whenever I try making these my potatoes come out more on the mushy side rather than crispy. Is there a certain type of pan that I should be using or is there possibly too much fat/oil when I start it?

Naved Siddiqui said...

when you said there is no way "I can make this bite any better", you were wrong. the answer to that is... cayenne.