Thursday, February 20, 2014

Duck Fat Steak Fries – There’s a New Fat in Town

You know a potato side dish is going to be good when 75% of the name refers to fat or meat. These super-crusty, oven-fried potato wedges, or “steak fries” as they call them where I’m from, are done with rendered duck fat, and while I’m a big fan of ones done with olive oil and/or butter, these really are better.

Not only does this fat help create a great texture, but it also adds a layer of richness and meatiness to the potatoes that’s nothing short of magical. Back in the day, you had to work or eat in a restaurant that served duck to enjoy this special treat, but happily, those days are over.

Thanks to evangelizing celebrity chefs and apparently smarter marketing people in the duck industry, this rendered fat is now pretty easy to find. My neighborhood Whole Foods stocks it, and I’ve seen it at many of the higher-end grocery stores.

By the way, if you’re concerned about that next cholesterol test, relax; duck fat is surprisingly healthy, and a quick Google search should explain why without me having to type any more. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
2 large russet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons duck fat
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
- 325 F. for 40 minutes
- 450 F. for about 20 minutes or until done

15 comments:

Julia said...

Boy oh boy!
Dips? Sauce? Mayonnaise? Ketchup? Sour cream? Yogurty type thingy? Something way,way better?

Dan Bremer and Emily Schleicher said...

Would it be blasphemous to use lard?

Chef John said...

Use what you have!

Chef John said...

Julia, yes, all of the above!

Beth said...

"Yes, definitely!" to duck fat! Any adjustments for sweet potatoes?

Just Ming said...

Looks awesome! Gonna try making some.

Vincent said...

As far as duck fat being healthy goes, it's about 60% unsaturated fat, which is pretty good compared to butter (something like 35% unsaturated fat?), but sticking to olive oil (85% sounds about right) is still the healthiest option.

...But who wants to be healthy if you're not allowed to eat boatloads of these gorgeous looking things?

jhormuz said...

Hey Chef John, given the origins of the word "fry" (ie- to cook in oil), I'd say that 100% of the words in the title refer to fat or meat. :)

philogaia said...

So funny to see this today. A friend posted a roasted cabbage slab recipe yesterday that sounded great except that it called for cooking spray. I commented I would rather try it with butter or even better, duck fat. Her response was butter sounded good but duck fat? Ewww. Poor woman. She just doesn't understand.

Ed Adams said...

Big Fan Chef. I try not to ask questions here, but not seeing the potatoes rinsed to get rid of the extra starch I was just curios, did you omit that part of the video OR should the potatoes not be de-starched for this recipe? Thanks.

Chef John said...

These seem to crust up beautifully whether you rinse or not!

Monica said...

Have to look for that when next in the big city, San Antonio. Don't think it is used in Mexican cooking but there are enough yuppies in the city.

will dukeshire said...

Yet another awesome thing! gonna try this the weekend. I also luv the fact that you use cayenne pepper so much, it is so healthy.
Thanks again for another awesome recipe. from your friend willy in newfoundland canada

49ersaredabest said...

Hi Chef John,
These look great.
If I cant find duck fat, would these work with just bacon fat?...
Thanks

Laura W Kline said...

We are using bacon fat. Although we might look for duck fat now that we know it's available. But we have bacon fat.