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Duck Fat Fries

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On MCSlim's recent post about the discontinuation of No.9 Park's bar menu. Zatan posted about missing the duck fat fries. I never had them there, nor do I know of them being available elsewhere in Boston. However, DuckFat in Portland Maine has terrific duck fat fries and the very best, richest Poutine I have ever had. Well done duck fat fries w/ a melted non-Farmer's cheese and rich duck gravy. Oh my, Mr.Bill!

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  1. Restaurants do offer them from time to time mostly on bar menus, Gargoyles did at one point... several others have been mentioned here. Roasted potatoes in goose fat also used to be an occasional thing. I do recall one recent report in the new hotel restaurant in Newton, but haven't even been near there much less tried them. I thought there was one other recent mention, but its not a full time thing like Portland or Chicago...

    10 Replies
    1. re: itaunas

      yes, i'm a fan of jason at gargoyle's, but unfortunately, neither his or andy husband's (tremont 647)Poutine- are worth a hoot compared to the poutine at Duck Fat in Portland Maine. BTW, it's a French Canadian dish so I'm surprised to hear it's a staple in Chicago.....

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        agreed - the Tremont 647 poutine was quite disappointing :( especially after a visit to Montreal :P

      2. re: itaunas

        itaunas - where have you seen goose fat potatoes around here??

        1. re: gini

          As I noted above, "it used to be an occasional thing." Jasper's commercial street restaurant had them on a couple of occasions I ate there. At Biba they used goose fat for all sorts of cooking, although I never saw potatoes... and have seen it on occasion with other restaurants for Christmas/New Years dinner type menus. I think its difficult for restaurants to offer the kind of specialty ingredients in Boston these days given the realities of rent, competition for these specialty ingredients due to foodie shows, and less frequent or adventurous diners than some cities. At least some things such as offal, charcuterie, etc are becoming more common.

          Opinionatedchef, you said you never heard of duck fat fries in Boston... which is what I replied about (Gargoyles had them I think before the poutine) and you can get them in Chicago (Hot Doug's in particular). I also confirmed the report here that the Newton Steakhouse does have a $9 portion on their appetizer menu (go direct to skip the annoying website):
          http://www.bokx109.com/bokx109_menu.pdf

          I love poutine, but to be honest I don't go looking for every specialty dish from other places to be reproduced perfectly in Boston. I wish our chefs would first get local dishes and local ingredients down first, then maybe dabble in the others as specials (like Jason Santos). Then I can go and hunt the definitive version on my vacation. Not certain how Duck FF would do here -- folks have tried stuff like Pomme Frittes in Cambridge ages ago, but given our rents and a population that doesn't dine out every night, I think that kind of idea works best out of the city (there is a montreal/poutine restaurant south of the city that hidden boston has written about). Inventive twists on traditional cusines from other places, such as Hungry Mother are great, but I resist the whole All Star SB "definitive version" of everything... some things taste better where they come from... and some things are just better here. ASSB does have poutine, too... and its probably pretty good.

          1. re: itaunas

            thanks for your info.sorry, i don't know what ASSB is.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              All Star Sandwich Bar

            2. re: itaunas

              I tried the ASSBar's poutine last week. Not bad, but certainly not as good as the "real" version either. Cheese was in fairly large, unmelted chunks (not sure the type of cheese, but not cheese curds for sure). Not enough gravy to really bring the whole thing together. The fries themselves were tasty, so maybe the fries with Inner Beauty Hot Sauce are the way to go there.

              I'll have to try that poutine truck (?) in Quincy or wherever it is one of these weeks...

              1. re: skokefoe

                Mozarella cheese curds are pretty easy to get around here, although some of them are not going to be that fresh. I would think that cheddar cheese curds would be harder to get and frankly that is another motivation to offer poutine as a special --- make it when your fresh cheese curds come in. That seems better to me than using cheese, but I think chefs use cheese around here not just to dally up the dish, but because fresh curds are harder to get. Other folks have said that ASSB does use curds, dunno I have only had the fries and chili fries.

                I am curious about the Quincy reference, the one mentioned above is in West Bridgewater.

                1. re: itaunas

                  The place in Bridgewater is called Montreal Fries. And though the owner hails from montreal, his poutine does not have the deep rich flavor of the authentic stuff you get around St. laurent and Cresent street. There are real cheese curds in his poutine but the gravy is severly lacking. (I also think I saw packaging of powdered premixed spices- based on flavor, and nothing more, I believe they may have been used in the gravy.) The fries themselves were OK. This poutine did not warrant the $5 price tag or the ride to West Bridgewater.

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Trader Joe's has fresh cheese curds regularly now (they look orange and are squeaky).

          2. I think Shay's has it.

            1. I freeze the fat rendered when I cook duck breasts, probably have about a cup in the freezer right now, but I only make duck fat fried potatoes as a treat in the winter.

              1. Any updates on this? Or a butcher in the city that one could get duck fat from to cook 'em yourself?

                4 Replies
                1. re: the modern serf

                  If you wanted to go the expensive route you could buy duck fat online through D'Artagnan at $9-$10 per #, what a rip off !!!

                  I don't live in the city so I can't help but....................if you make your own "Frites" you'll need to "cut" the duck fat with a higher temperature fry oil like canola or cottonseed in order to get crispy results.

                  1. re: the modern serf

                    I picked up some goose fat at Savenor's recently - and of course, the first thing I did with it was fry potatoes!

                    1. re: the modern serf

                      Savenor's sells duck fat. Truth be told, though, you are better off buying a whole duck. It's way more cost effective and you get both duck and duck fat - a double win!

                      1. re: the modern serf

                        happened to hit craigie on main tonight; they had duck fat fried fingerlings.

                      2. I had the duck fat fries at Gargoyles a few weeks ago. They were good, but not earth shattering. There was actually a fries with goat cheese and short rib meat also on the bar menu that we agreed was beter.

                        Regarding the duck fat fries, I was expecting that they were fried in duck fat and would be extra crispy or something. I don't know whether Gargoyle's does it that way- could not tell any difference from their regular fries. They did have a fatty duck gravy over them.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Parsnipity

                          In me experience the crispness of fries has more to do with the temperature of the frying, not the fry medium. What duck and goose fat add is flavor.

                          1. re: BobB

                            So, do you think they actually fry them IN duck fat, or use their regular fry oil and then add duck gravy?

                            1. re: Parsnipity

                              No idea, you'd have to ask them. I just fry mine in goose or duck fat and sprinkle with S&P.

                              1. re: BobB

                                I confited a batch of duck legs last night and used some of the fat afterward to fry potatoes - not deep fried, but pan fried at a high temperature - I had the duck fat just starting to smoke when I threw in the potatoes. They came out gorgeous, dark and crisp on the outside and meltingly soft inside, and not greasy at all thanks to the high temp.

                                Man that stuff is good!

                              2. re: Parsnipity

                                was just at duck fat in portland. WOW. they use 25% duckfat and 75% canola for their fries.

                                BF had the poutine and i had the fries with a duck confit sandwich. swoony deliciousness.

                          2. Tempo in Waltham just added them to their menu yesterday. We tried them and liked them but have no point of comparison. $6

                            1. Ate at duckfat in Portland ME several times over the period of several years and was sorely disappointed by their fries. If your sole experience is normal everyday New England soggy fries duckfat's fries are arguably better. However, If you have had real Belgian fries - which are uniformly crisp/crunchy outside and mousse-like in side - these are actually terrible. I had marginally betetr belgian frites at Publick House in the Boston Area. However, the BEST fries I have had recently - were at Radius in the financial district. They are served with the Hamburger - expensive - but exquisitely made.
                              On the other hand, anyone who loves poutine (I have never understood gravy poured over good fries to deliberately turn them soggy) will probably give duckfat rave reviews.