Duck Fat Potatoes
Holy hell. If there’s one potato recipe you make before the end of the year, let it be these duck fat potatoes.
They’re ridiculously crispy, have creamy insides, and go well with practically any dish! Seriously, you cannot beat the crunch!
Here’s why the recipe works:
- We both parboil and then roast the potatoes.
- The potatoes cook in alkaline water (a mix of water, Kosher salt, and baking soda), which helps to break down their starchy exterior.
- The potatoes get a good shake once drained, helping to form a thin, mashed potato-like layer around the surface area of the potatoes, which crisps up in the duck fat.
- Long, slow roasting time. We’re usually in favor of super quick cook times, but with this recipe, longer exposure to high heat = the crispiest potatoes EVER.
Ingredients For Duck Fat Potatoes
- Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
- Kosher salt
- Baking soda
- Rendered duck fat – If you happen to roast duck at home, you might have a jar with a few tablespoons of duck fat on standby in the fridge. If not, you can buy rendered duck fat at most grocery stores. D’Artagnan is a well known and widely available brand.We grab ours at Whole Foods.
- Finely chopped fresh herbs, such as fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, or oregano
You’ll also need a large pot to parboil and simmer the potatoes in, as well as a cast iron skillet for cooking. In a pinch, you could make these on a rimmed baking sheet, but the roast potatoes won’t be nearly as crispy. Cast iron skillets just heat up so evenly and retain hot temperatures extremely well.
How To Make Duck Fat Potatoes
To make the best duck fat potatoes, you first have to start with perfect roasted potatoes. The method we follow for ensuring each potato is the crispiest possible comes from Kenji Lopez.
First, parboil the peeled, cubed potatoes. The secret is to add both salt and baking soda to the water with the potatoes. Even when we don’t make duck fat potatoes — and simply want crispy roasted ‘taters — we follow this method! Cook at a rapid boil under fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
Next, drain the potatoes, then immediately return to the hot pan. This will help any excess liquid evaporate. Place a lid on top, then shake the pan vigorously. Really rough ’em up! Look below to see what happens to the potatoes. They form a thin layer on top that is similar to mashed potatoes. This is what gives the potatoes an edge when they cook in the oven!
Finally, place in a preheated skillet with melted duck fat, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 30 minutes undisturbed, then toss and cook an additional 40 minutes.
Your patience will be greatly rewarded!
Don’t Use Too Much Duck Fat!
You might think that more duck fat makes for crispier potatoes, when in reality all it does is make the potatoes harder to crisp up and taste more like duck. Moderation is key!
We recommend ¼ cup duck fat for 4 lbs of potatoes. Why 4 lbs? That’s as much as we can fit in our largest skillet.
So if you buy a 5 lb bag of potatoes at the store, just split them between two skillets to ensure there’s enough room for all the potatoes to crisp up evenly. You really want them to cook in a single layer.
Honestly, if you’re out of duck fat or can’t find it, use the exact same method with extra virgin olive oil. You’ll still get super crispy, crunchy potatoes with a great flavor!
Tips For The Best Potatoes
- It’s worth repeating: do not use too much duck fat! We’ve tested this and the potatoes don’t crisp up as well and taste way too ducky. Less is more!
- Let the potatoes cook undisturbed for the first half hour.
- Toss with fresh herbs (chopped rosemary, thyme, sage, or oregano!) just as they finish cooking. Want to add in a few minced garlic cloves? Not one single person will complain.
- Give the potatoes a sprinkle of flaky sea salt just before serving.
What To Serve With Duck Fat Potatoes
The obvious choice is perfect pan seared duck breast! We also love to serve them with seared ribeye or beef tenderloin.
Honestly, any dish where you would serve roasted potatoes as a side is a great option! These potatoes go with everything!
Our favorite side dish to pair with ’em? Creamy swiss chard with breadcrumbs and lemon wedges — one of my favorite vegetable sides of all time!
Cannot even begin to put into words how delicious these crispy duck fat roasted potatoes are. The texture is on another level. You’ll never make potatoes any other way again!
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For more great recipes, check out the following:
- Beef tenderloin with parmesan cream sauce
- Slow baked salmon
- Roast rack of lamb
- Skillet chicken with white beans and kale
- Veal saltimbocca
Duck Fat Potatoes
- Large pot with lid
- ¼ cup rendered duck fat
- 4 lbs Russet or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 2-3" chunks
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp Kosher salt divided
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or other fresh herb finely chopped, such as thyme, sage, or oregano
- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450F. Place rendered duck fat into a large cast iron skillet, then place in the oven to preheat.
- Place potatoes in a large pot, then cover with water. Add 2 Tbsp Kosher salt and baking soda, stir, then bring to a rapid boil. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, or until tender enough to pierce easily with a knife. Drain potatoes, then immediately return to the pot to help evaporate any excess liquid.
- Place lid on top, then secure by holding it firmly in place. Shake the pot vigorously, about 20-30 seconds, until the potatoes form a thin layer on top that has the consistency of mashed potatoes.
- Carefully remove the preheated skillet from the oven, then spoon the parboiled potatoes into the pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp Kosher salt and black pepper. Cook undisturbed for 30 minutes, then toss potatoes. Cook an additional 40 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown on all sides, flipping the potatoes once more about halfway through. Garnish with finely chopped fresh herbs (if using) and sprinkle with flaky sea salt before serving immediately.
- Do not skip the baking soda! This helps to break down the surface of the potatoes so they have that creamy exterior which crisps up beautifully in duck fat.
- Don’t cut the potatoes into super small pieces or they will burn and won’t have a creamy center!
- Don’t have duck fat? You can absolutely follow this same method with oil or beef fat. Just note that some oils have a lower smoke point and will begin smoking if preheated in an oven for an extended period of time.
This post was originally published in November 2020. It has since been updated with additional information to make it easier to recreate at home.