My roommate brought me a jar of duck fat from his recent trip to France. I am totally grossed out but he seems so excited by it so I'm willing to give it a shot. How do I use it?
Breanne, maybe it will help to think of the duck fat like butter, or shortening, or lard, or any other fat you cook with. It's a wonderful delicacy, too -- better than any of the abovementioned fats! It crisps food up with a deliciously golden color and rich taste.
You can use it just like almost any other cooking fat. You can use it to sauté anything, but potatoes are perhaps the most classic use for it.
Here are a few specific things that duck fat is good for.
• Cooking potatoes. Brown them in the duck fat for an eye-rolling good treat.
• Pie crusts. Add a tablespoon or two to your pie dough.
• Rub your roast chicken with this instead of butter.
• A Chowhound thread on what to do with duck fat. One intrepid eater likes it on popcorn!
• Here's information on health and duck fat. Basically, it sounds indulgent, but it's probably much better for you than hydrogenated oils.
Duck fat will keep for a long, long time in the refrigerator, but you can also freeze it.
Rendered duck fat is available in many gourmet grocery stores, and you can also buy it online.
• Rendered Duck Fat, $10.20 for 7 ounces.
You can of course also do it yourself; we rendered quite a lot when cooking duck magret, a particularly fatty sort of duck breast. We were in France, and sadly couldn't bring all that delicious fat back with us. But we did cook up a batch of potatoes with it and they were wonderful.