7 Things to Do with Reserved Duck Fat
Duck fat is delicious. It develops tremendous texture and rich, savory flavors. We love it with roasted veggies and fried potatoes, added to sauces, and so much more. These days, if you're not into saving your own fat from roasting a duck, you can also find rendered duck fat in grocery stores.
Is duck fat healthy? Well, healthy is kind of a loaded word. Duck fat is, after all, a saturated fat. However, as the Los Angeles Times notes, the amount of fat from duck fat that's saturated is roughly comparable to chicken fat or pork fat. But at 33%, duck fat's saturated fat content is significantly "better than butter, which is about 51% saturated fat." What's more, duck fat contains oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat that's found in healthy olive oil. Duck fat is 40% oleic acid, compared to 71% oleic acid for olive oil. So is duck fat a health food? Probably not. But it does seem to be a reasonable and certainly a delicious substitute for butter and an occasional tasty treat.
Here are some of our favorite, most delicious recipes for using up rendered duck fat, including making golden-brown potatoes, confit, tortillas, and more. And don't miss our Favorite Duck Recipes for Special Dinners.
Duck Fat Steak Fries
No doubt about it, duck fat is the best way to make incredibly crispy oven-roasted steak fries. And it doesn’t take a lot of fat either. "While I'm a big fan of potato wedges done with olive oil and/or butter, these really are better," says Chef John.
Duck Confit, the Right Way
Duck confit takes a while to prepare properly, but you'll be rewarded with melt-in-the-mouth meat. "It's not hard by any means," says Kim. "It just takes a while. But it's definitely delicious! The flavor is just fantastic! The crispy skin is to die for! It is pretty rich, so a little goes a long way!"
Paleo Cassava Flour Tortillas
"These paleo-friendly tortillas are made with cassava flour and duck fat," says Angela Sackett. "Tortillas can be eaten immediately or stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 days."
Bourbon Pepper Pan Sauce
"Mastering pan sauces is one of the most important but easiest steps towards producing legit restaurant-quality dishes at home," says Chef John. "Assemble all the sauce ingredients before cooking the steak so you can make the sauce during the 5-minute resting time for steak. The rich, sweet, peppery flavor profile also works wonderfully with pork chops and grilled chicken. You can also switch up the bourbon for another liquor, since this really is just a technique recipe."
Chef John's Cassoulet
Duck fat also makes an amazing crunchy golden-brown topping. Stir duck fat and a little butter together with bread crumbs and chopped parsley to make a crunchy topping for cassoulet. "Cassoulet is one of the most delicious dishes you'll ever have," says Chef John.
Pan-Roasted Red Potatoes
"Pan-roasting in duck fat gives these potatoes a luxurious flavor that can't be added any other way," says Shyla Lane. "These potatoes also make a wonderful breakfast dish; just serve alongside some eggs and bacon and you are all set!"
Chef John's Orange Duck
So beautiful and delicious, this classic dish is also remarkably easy to make. The sweet and savory orange sauce combines marmalade, orange zest with Grand Marnier, sherry vinegar, and chicken broth. "This is traditionally done with a whole roasted duck," says Chef John. "But by using breasts we get pretty much the same results in a lot less time."
Cut a French baguette in half lengthwise, rub the cut sides with duck fat, and place on a baking sheet and set under the broiler. Broil until beautifully browned and crunchy, about 1 to 2 minutes. The bread pairs so wonderfully with the flavorful broth. "These mussels have a fresh tomato basil broth with white wine and lobster stock and a duck-fat grilled crostini," says Chef and a Baker.