Duck Fat. I’ve long heard of its golden status among chefs. I’ve often been told within recipes to hoard the drippings for later when cooking with duck. All of this was in the back of my mind, until I found Fatworks. [You can find a link to the website on the left sidebar of my blog]
I first heard of Fatworks from a colleague at Crossfit. I checked it out, and immediately was interested. You see, I am trying to get away from using seed oils when cooking. They are terribly unstable, have low smoke points, and are generally better suited for cold use in salads. The most stable fat I owned at this point was coconut oil, and although I’d cook everything in it, it does have a discernible taste, and my boyfriend wasn’t a fan of coconut oil on everything, so i needed options. I generally can get away with a small amount of butter, but knowing how dairy affects me, I don’t really like the idea of using it, and avoid it. This left me using olive and sesame oil, even though it’s less than ideal.
Now, Fatworks gave me access to some high quality, pure, animal fat, giving me more dairy free and stable saturated fat options to bring to my kitchen. I ordered the Duck as soon as it was back in stock. [Next thing I have to order is Tallow!] I was ecstatic when it came yesterday.
Now what to make!
It was a crossfit night, so I decided to roast a chicken. I figured the duck fat, being poultry, would go well, help bring some crispness to the skin, and give some nice flavor. I poured a spoon over the skin, rubbed it over, and then used my fingers to push some more under the skin via the few holes I poked around the skin of the breast area. I shoved a few garlic cloves in the holes, seasoned with rosemary, salt, pepper, and orange peel, and put it in the oven. My general go to technique [As I’ve mentioned before] is to bake at 450 for 15 minutes, and 20 minutes per pound at 350 after that.
Then in the 10 minutes I had before leaving, I peeled a sweet potato and cut it into medium wedges and strips.
Went to the gym, came home to a yummy smelling house, took a shower, and took this beauty out of the oven!
Seriously – I think this was the best looking bird I’ve roasted. Thank you Duck Fat!
While I was letting it rest, I sliced up a shallot, and two cloves of garlic and kept them off to the side. I turned the burner to medium-high, put 5 spoons or so of the duck fat in the pan, and when it was hot, I threw the sweet potato wedges in, covered, and tossed. I let them cook for about 5-10 minutes, tossing occasionally, and then seasoned them with a little salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Keeping an eye on them, when I saw they were getting soft, I threw in the shallots and garlic, and tossed. Putting them in late like this, let them caramelize and crisp, without burning.
Beautiful! The sweet potatoes, onions, and shallots all got a beautiful caramelization. The foodie in me was singing with joy and anticipation.
Now all that was left was to eat!
Yum does not even cover it. The chicken skin was divine. It had a beautiful crispness and full flavor. The meat itself was juicy and delicious. The sweet potatoes were sweet, with a savory note, and addictive. I was beyond pleased.
I highly recommend buying some of this fabulous fat!
Complementary note – Even though I don’t drink too often anymore [When I do it’s usually red wine or spirits], I’ve been trying out some Gluten Free beers. Especially in the heat of the summer , I find my mood longing for a beer over wine, and sometimes hard liquor can be a little harsh on my system. In the past I used to love beer, craft beer, robust beer, stouts, porters, imperial ales, I was a fan. Unfortunately, due to [likely] the grain sensitivity, they also would often give me a headache and mess my stomach up. I’ve avoided going back to them….until now!
I was curious to try some of the Gluten Free beers, to see if I had better reaction to them. So far [I’ve tried 2 different ones], my post beer experience has been night and day; no headaches, no digestive system anger. For dinner tonight I tried this one from Dogfish head, and it was very nice. Light in flavor with subtle notes of the strawberry and buckwheat honey. I will definitely be buying it again!