Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duck Fat Roasted Brussels Sprouts – P.H.A.T. with an “F”

With all the rich and decadent football party food I’ve been sharing lately, I’d thought I’d take a little break, and post a nice, simple green vegetable side dish. Of course, these beautiful roasted Brussels sprouts were just a prop so I could demonstrate using leftover duck fat, but still.

If you watch any amount of celebrity chef TV, you’ve undoubtedly heard them going off on the virtues of duck fat. They mostly pontificate on its deep, palate-coating richness, which is true; but they also like to point out the health benefits. That part is a little cloudy…you know, like saturated fat when it cools down.

Duck fat does have much less saturated fat than butter, and is higher in oleic acid, the stuff that makes olive oil so popular with the healthy eating gurus, but make no mistake, this is still an animal fat, and should be used in moderation. The good news: “in moderation” totally works!

A few tablespoons and a very hot oven is all you need to turn some sleepy vegetables into something much more special. As I mention in the video, bacon grease will make a fine (and even more flavorful) substitute, but if you do cook duck, saving the leftover fat is nothing short of mandatory. I hope you give this technique a try soon. Enjoy!

Brussels sprouts (about 4-6 per person)
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
enough melted duck fat to coat vegetables generously (about 2-3 tablespoons per pound of sprouts)
fresh squeezed lemon to finish
*Roast at 450 degrees F. until tender but still a little firm, about 15-20 minutes

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

Ducks also eat a fair amount of fish and shellfish.

Chef John said...

Yes, but didn't want to let facts ruin the joke.

oiacob said...

Chef John.... Your Awesome!!

Monica said...

And where does one find duck fat?

tastycajun said...

Do you answer questions on your blog?

philogaia said...

Duck fat is definitely king of cooking fats. And bacon grease is indispensable in the kitchen as far as I'm concerned. Another choice would be chicken fat believe it or not. I make chicken stock by roasting a large pan of chicken backs and necks which renders out a lot of lovely golden fat. I'll bet it would be nice here. Not as nice as duck fat, of course, but I have duck less often than I would like.

Chef John said...

Cook some duck, or go to a butcher at a nice store. They can find!

Food Junkie said...

You can also find duck fat on line relatively easily in convenient tubs and jars. Probably not as good as rendering your own but they seem to get good reviews.

T said...

Chef John,

Love, love, love this recipe, but why not sautee them in a pan, remove, broil to carmelize, and deglaze the pan to make an awesome sauce!? I do this with bacon fat, pecans, and shallots, and deglaze with some sherry.

Chef John said...

Sounds good. There are a thousand ways to make these!

Unknown said...

Made these with leftover duck fat from your wonderful Duck Leg Adobo. Still can't convince me to like Brussels sprouts but my daughter and partner raved about this recipe. I let them fight over the sprouts and took an extra serving of the duck.

Cliverton said...

Ducks you would buy to eat, and most in nature, are vegetarian.
The others are just nasty tasting.