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Potatoes Fondant

I bought duck fat the other day. In fact, I bought lard for my Cuban bread, and saw duck fat and beef tallow right next to it. I scooped them all up, feeling a little silly over my joy of newfound animal fats. Would you be surprised if I told you that lamb tallow, chicken schmaltz and goose fat are now on my amazon wish list? 

With my newly purchased duck fat tucked away in my cupboard, I started to scour my favorite blogs for a suitable recipe. I have heard many times that there is nothing like potatoes roasted in duck fat, so I started looking for potato recipes. I was not content, however, with a simple recipe. I wanted something unique; something I had never tried before. Chef John has posted a lovely recipe on Potatoes Fondant, but it did not include duck fat. I decided to replace half of the butter in his recipe with duck fat and see if I liked my results. Oh boy- did I ever. 

You must try this potato recipe; it is crispy and creamy, has a butter sauce to serve alongside, and makes for a lovely and unique presentation. 

Recipe Adapted from Chef John at Food Wishes

4 large russet potatoes
2 tablespoons of high heat oil (canola, grapeseed, safflower)
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons duck fat
4 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup or more of homemade chicken stock (or store bought sodium free stock)


Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
To prep your potatoes, cut off the ends and peel them vertically, to create uniform cylinders. Cut each one in half to make 8 potato cylinders about 2 inches long. Put your potatoes into a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes. This will remove some the starch.Dry them well with paper towels.

In a cast iron skillet, pour in your vegetable oil. Turn your burner onto high heat ad wait until your oil starts to simmer. Put your potatoes in the pan on one of the flat sides. Lower your heat to medium high and fry your potatoes until the first side is well browned (about 5 minutes) Season with salt and pepper. Flip your potatoes to the other flat end. As they brown, drain the oil with a spoon. If you like, you can blot it completely out of the pan with paper towels that your hold with tongs, but I preferred to remove as much oil as I could with a spoon. Add your butter, duck fat and thyme to your skillet.

Spoon your butter, duck fat and thyme sprigs over the top of the potatoes as they cook. Wait until the butter foams and that foam turns into a light amber color. Season with salt and pepper gain. Add your chicken stock.

Place your skillet into your oven and cook until your potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes (they will be easily pierced with a knife). If they aren’t done, add a little more stock and cook a further ten minutes.  

When serving, be sure to spoon over the butter, duck fat, stock reduction over your potatoes Garnish with fresh thyme if desired. Enjoy!


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