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10 Ways to Cook with Duck Fat

D uck fat has long been a staple in the professional kitchen, and is enjoying a moment as awareness of this ingredient grows among home cooks. With a silky mouthfeel, subtle flavor, and a high smoke point, it’s perfect for high-heat cooking (we use it for pan searing all the time). Duck fat makes everything taste better, from poultry to potatoes, meat to fresh vegetables. You can use duck fat from a solid, soft or liquid state, and unlike other lipids, it can be reused. Buy our duck fat and add it to your kitchen arsenal. Read on for the top 10 ways to cook with duck fat.

Cooking with Duck Fat - How-To's & Tip – Dartagnan.com

1. Potatoes and Duck Fat

The combination of duck fat and potatoes is a match made in heaven. Duck fat enhances the earthy potato flavor and imparts a golden crust. Use duck fat for potato galette, roasted potatoes, pommes Anna, hash browns, croquetas, sautéed fingerlings, mashed potatoes, and just about any other spud application.

2. Rubbing Poultry with Duck Fat

Are you buttering your birds? Trade the butter for duck fat! Rub softened duck fat under the skin and inside the cavity, then massage some over the outside of the entire bird. Season and roast in a very hot oven. You’ll get golden, crispy skin and breast meat that is moist and succulent.

3. Searing Meat with Duck Fat

Using duck fat to sear meats, poultry, fish, and shellfish is a surefire way to achieve an evenly browned, flavorful crust. Try it with veal chops, pork loins, chicken breasts, scallops, shrimp and much more. 

4. Duck Fat Salad Dressing

Warm duck fat dressings add delicious savory character to salads, especially those made with hearty greens like frisée, radicchio, kale, endive, and chards. Temper the richness with an acidic bite and touch of sweetness from a fruity vinegar, citrus segments or minced shallots. Toss with greens and serve immediately.

5. Duck Fat on Vegetables

Oven-roasted and sautéed vegetables earn gourmet cred when tossed in duck fat before cooking. A little fat goes a long way in adding richness and facilitating caramelization. All veggies will benefit from a quick toss with duck fat, from earthy roots and tubers to sugar-packed onions and more astringent produce like asparagus or artichokes.

6. Duck Fat Popcorn

Popcorn made the old fashioned way - in a heavy bottomed pot right on the stove top - is ridiculously delicious when popped in duck fat. The fat adds depth of flavor that is hard to describe until you try it. Check it out for yourself with our popcorn recipe.

7. Frying with Duck Fat

Duck fat when used alone or in combination with other high smoke point oils, such as safflower or peanut oil, makes for fabulous deep-frying. Duck fat adds extra-oomph to fried chicken, croquettes, beignets, breaded calamari, potato chips and french fries. Crisp and golden on the outside, light yet creamy on the inside with a wonderfully rich flavor, duck fat fries are out of this world.

8. Baking with Duck Fat

Duck fat may be an unexpected ingredient to the baker, but it makes crisp golden puffed pastry and Viennoiseries. Create tender, flaky pâté brisée and shortcrust pastry while adding subtle depth of flavor with duck fat. Use a 50/50 duck fat and butter blend for most baking recipes unless using as a replacement for lard, in which case, you can use equal measure. Be sure to try our favorite duck fat cookie recipe.

9. Making Confit with Duck Fat

Our duck leg confit is slow-cooked in duck fat which tenderizes the meat and creates a tasty result. It’s easy to confit at home, but don’t limit yourself to meat. One of our favorite kitchen secrets is garlic confit, which is done in 15 minutes or so. A short bath in simmering duck fat will caramelize and mellow the garlic cloves, making them spreadable and less pungent. Try garlic confit on mashed potatoes, with vegetables, spread on bread, or anywhere garlic is needed.

10. Duck Fat Mayonnaise

That’s right. Mayonnaise is never better than when homemade. Use an immersion blender to make foolproof mayonnaise, and replace the oil with duck fat. You’ll get an umami-rich mayonnaise with a distinctive flavor. If you can get duck eggs you will get an even richer result.