This is a recipe for big, fat wedges of potato cooked in duck fat. Unlike potatoes Sarladaises, these potatoes are soft, not crisp, but they’re equally satisfyingly given that they’re imbued with the flavor of the duck fat. I love that the source of this recipe is Michel Guerard, the author of Cuisine Minceur (Diet Food). It’s reassuring to know that the chef who gave us French lean cuisine also appreciates the power of duck fat. This is a good dish to make when you want to use up the fat from making confit. Serve these potatoes with confit or grilled meats.–Jennifer McLagan
LC THE PROPER POTATO NOTE
Author Jennifer McLagan notes that while Yukon Gold potatoes are a good all-purpose potato, these fries are also quite lovely when made with a standard, run-of-the-mill, inexpensive baking potato such as a russet. She also notes that, natch, long, oval potatoes make the best-shaped fries. There you have it.
Duck Fat Cooked Fries
- 4 (about 1 3/4 pounds) Yukon Gold potatoes (or substitute russets)
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) duck fat
- 1 garlic clove unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Fleur de sel
- Peel the potatoes and cut lengthwise into quarters. Rinse them under cold water and place in a bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and dry them well. In a heavy flameproof casserole or heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer, heat the duck fat over medium-high heat. When it begins to smoke, add the potatoes and the garlic clove. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes, turning so they color evenly, until golden on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the garlic and discard. Transfer the potatoes to a large plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Return the potatoes to the pan, cover, and cook over low heat until they’re cooked through and soft in the center, about 15 minutes. Check the potatoes regularly, turning if necessary. If you hear the fat spitting, lift the lid and wipe off the excess moisture on the inside of it.
- Transfer the fries to a warmed dish and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and fleur de sel, turning so they’re well coated. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
How can so few ingredients taste this amazing? Are these fries actually legal? They made me feel pretty sneaky. They were THAT good. This is an excellent way to showcase duck fat in all its glory. The garlic roasting with the potatoes added just a hint of subtle garlicky-ness. If there was ever a perfect way to use fleur de sel, this is it. The chopped parsley from my garden added freshness and a punch of color. The method of browning all sides, first on medium heat and then draining most of the fat and cooking until the potatoes are done on low heat, worked really well. The outsides had a golden crust and the interiors were buttery soft and looked even BETTER than the photo. When you’re indulging in these sinful gems, you may find yourself furtively looking over your shoulder. They just may make you feel a wee bit guilty.
Originally published August 09, 2008