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rendered duck fat -- what do you use it for?

got some of this yesterday, when our host was going to pour it down his drain. (yikes).

help with ideas, please...

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  1. If you have enough, you can use it to confit duck legs. Also good for roasting potatoes, and I use some whenever I make duck soup using the carcass.

    1. Home fries! My favorite part of my Thanksgiving dinner might just be breakfast the next morning. :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Wahooty

        good save!
        I second the potato -- cut up wedges, toss in duck fat and roast in the oven.
        It's like Thanksgiving in one bite.

      2. Sautéing potatoes, vegetables, poultry and even seafood.

        Replacing butter in savoury pastries.

        Rubbing on poultry before roasting for a crisp, brown skin.

        Popping popcorn (sprinkle with sea salt; no need to drizzle with melted butter).

        Making confit: duck, quail, guinea fowl, gizards.

        1 Reply
        1. re: carswell

          The popcorn idea is disturbingly brilliant!

        2. The best French fries I ever had were fried in duck fat. (Thanks to Chef Chris DeBarr, formerly of The Delachaise, New Orleans.)

          1. How much did you manage to save? Someone else asked about this a little while back:

            I have two or three jam jars of this stuff in my fridge at any given time. And we are talking about a tiny European fridge. I wonder if there's anything (savory) that I don't use it for…

            1. Potatoes fried in duck fat are truly sublime, as is a really fresh egg from a free-range hen.

              1. Fried potatoes, of course, but my Russian wife also uses it to saute cabbage with a little sliced onion mixed in.

                1 Reply
                1. Yikes is right... who exactly in this world hasn't heard that pouring fat down household drains is a bad idea? Have they been living in caves?!

                  Anyway, my favorite duck fat dish is potatoes Anna.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: HaagenDazs

                    Would you speak to my mother? She poured a whole two cups of rendered smoked duck fat down the drain, then looked at me like I was crazy when I almost blew a gasket. She's kindly always wants to help out in my kitchen, but I want my domain to myself, thankyouverymuch, for a reason.

                    Gawds that was at Canadian Thanksgiving and I still get a sharp painful pang when I remember that.

                    1. re: TheSnowpea

                      Your mom can't be as bad as mine.. Every time she comes here she throws away everything I love, then proudly tells me she didn't throw anything away... Like she's learned from my past scoldings.

                      Oh, and they only eat meat WELL DONE.....

                      One year I took Christmas dinner into my own hands for this very reason, went to Pusateri's for a giant beautiful prime rib roast, and got instructions based on weight from the chef there. 1.5 hours he said, no more.

                      I got to my mom's house, proudly showed what a real piece of meat looks like, and told her that her "FIVE HOURS" was non-sense. She then said that her brand new oven takes forever, the temperature gauge doesn't work right, and to trust her... I told her she was crazy as usual, and she proceeded to destroy that magnificent piece of beef.


                      1. re: SocksManly

                        I feel your pain, Socks, I really do.

                        1. re: SocksManly

                          My mom (bless her strange soul) has taken to patting the turkey and telling it is a good bird and that soon it will be ripped apart by a bunch of savages. She did not know I was in the kitchen -so it was not for my amusement. Then she proceeded to run her chicken gack hands all over my counter top and unload the dishwasher. Apparently salmonella is a myth invented to sell spray cleaner. Ho hum.

                        2. re: TheSnowpea

                          This is interesting. My mother always told us never throw ANY fat down the drain--she said something about it being dangerous for the pipes. Anyone else heard this or was my mom just being odd?

                          1. re: jarona

                            It is not dangerous. it contributes to clogs. Every once and a while dumb boiling water down the drain.

                      2. Hashed browns ... and, of course, french fries.

                        Also, sometimes I'll fry up some Spam in duck fat. Yum.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Whoa, Spam in duck fat, totally over the top. I'll try it this weekend.

                        2. caramelized 'shallot' butter.

                          Confit, you need a lot of fat, unless you do it "sou-vide" style ;) in a foodsaver bag.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: RPMcMurphy

                            I find the fat from one duck is just enough usually to confit two legs, assuming you have the right sized pan.

                            1. re: SocksManly

                              I agree, especially if you make them a tight tight fit in the pan/vessel you are cooking them in.

                              what I did last week, was individually (well 2 in a quart bag) put them in a foodsaver, with some fat, then threw the bags in a pot, brought to a boil, then put in a 180 oven forever. ....took them out, ice bath then in the fridge. super easy storage and you can surely get away with much less duck fat.

                          2. The suggestions re: duck fat and potatoes are great. An old classic: cook hash browns very slowly (it's key for this dish) - perhaps 25 to 30 minutes. Let them cook mostly undisturbed. The goal is to get a really good crust.

                            Finish (last 30-45 seconds or so) with some minced garlic and a handful of chopped Italian parsley. Salt to taste.

                            1 Reply
                            1. Sauteed brussels sprouts in duck fat. Yum!

                              1. OK first Alkapal - can you please give a warning when you say something obscene like someone's trying to dump duck fat. My heart started racing. You think I jest? Gasp! I was also(like everyone else - because it is so freaking good) suggest the taters, onion and peppers saute - but then I saw Carswell mention popcorn and my lower lip started to quiver.

                                Spuds and onions first (preferably as a hash with l/o duck) then popcorn. Oh holy heaven that sounds quackalicious!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                  noted. will warn in future. ;-)..

                                  and you want quackalicious?

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5740... (substitute duck, of course).



                                  ps, love the screen name.

                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    That's it. I am buying a duck. Butter lettuce wrap. Strangely, I am craving lettuce... especially the butter, hydroponic variety. And some lemony tartish garlicy goo and crispy duck skin surprise crunch within,

                                    I saw you on another board and thought your name told me we would be soulfoodmates. Then I saw it was not "ALKI pals"... I was momentarily downtrodden. Then you killed me with the duck fat story! I may have to go do a limoncello shot. I got it as a christmas gift. It tastes like lemon pledge. I digress. Did I mention I love butter lettuce???

                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                      you wanna be alkipals? i'm game {8^D you can be "alkisal" and we'll have a secret handshake. (get it? *hand shake*?!)

                                      now pass the lemon pledge, please. i can "dust-n-drink."

                                2. Basted Eggs with Fried Potatoes only on Sunday mornings(when available).

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: fourunder

                                    Sunday mornings are not always available? What are you up to Saturday nights???

                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                      Three factors for my comments.....when available:

                                      1. I only eat eggs for breakfast at home on Sunday Mornings....unless I am unavailable due to...

                                      2. Playing golf.....and if.....

                                      3. No duck fat is available.......hence.....when available, myself or the duck fat.

                                      What are you up to Saturday nights???

                                      Usually to no good........

                                  2. When I make canard de magret, I drain the fat off and here is what I do. First, I parboil fingerling potatoes for a few minutes. Then I cut them lengthwise, salt and pepper 'em and grind up rosemary and thyme and sprinkle that on 'em. Then I drain the fat into a cast iron skillet and add the potatoes and cook them till they are nice and golden on the outside. I do the same with baby zucchinni--only I don't parboil them. I just throw 'em into the skillet. I save the rest of the fat just like bacon fat. It gives everything a nice tasty flavor!

                                    1. Latkes fried in duck fat are sublime.

                                      1. I am perfectly willing to stick duck fat---or goose fat---into just about anything. Fry eggs, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, you name it. Making soup--fry the onions and whatever. Making popcorn--awesome.

                                        And if you are worried you have eatten too much, it freezes beautifully.........

                                        1. I just read in Food & Wine recently that a Chicago chef makes fried chicken in duck fat. sounds yum ... he marinates it Korean-style in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and maybe chile paste/powder. I definitely want to try, although I wonder whether he really uses 100% duck fat or a combo with some other fat/oil. If you don't happen to have it saved up, it's expensive to buy and time-consuming to render by cooking ducks for other purposes.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Cicely

                                            although I wonder whether he really uses 100% duck fat or a combo with some other fat/oil.

                                            Reminds me of of a certain celebrity chef who only wears orange clogs, says he only deep fries food in Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

                                            I do not believe either one to be truthful in these cases.

                                          2. I agree with many here - duck fat makes *everything* better. I was once stuck at the N Pole for four months with no real meat or fresh vegetables (long story). All our meat was either canned, dried or fake (the dreaded Textured Vegetable Product). We *did* have duck fat, though, and I quickly discovered that a dollop of that made even the most depressing muck taste yummy!

                                            1. well holy cats, we've got the duck fat/potatoes covered from every angle :)

                                              i have 2 suggestions nobody's mentioned yet:
                                              1) use for potted duck/goose/fowl
                                              2) replace the butter/fat/shortening in yr fave pie crust with duck fat. now make a savory meat pie, using this crust. (insert appropriate regional exclamation here!!!)

                                              1. If I had duck fat to use all the time, I'd put it in just about anything! :) It's delicious! When I have "extra" I put it in a jar and store it in the fridge where I can use a dollop of it whenever I want. It's wonderful stuff.

                                                You can also freeze it into ice cube trays so you have a tablespoon of it from the freezer whenever you like!