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A winter treat: Duck fat potatoes. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

New Year’s resolutions usually involve watching the calories and cutting down on consuming heavier foods. With the popularity of Dry January, the whole month can feel like a willpower test — or a punishment for overindulging during the Holidays.

Then there’s comfort food. The dishes you think about making on a snowy day while hunkering down on the couch, ready to stream an award-nominated movie. A hearty soup, a bowl of chili, a one-pot pasta. A wintery spinach salad (check out Florence Fabricants recipe here) is also an alternative. Why not accompany it with some duck fat potatoes to add some decadence? You deserve it.

Rendered duck fat for the win. (Photo credit: Doug Young)

Duck fat is well known for being used in food preparation due to its high-heat smoking point. With its subtle flavor and popularity with chefs, roasted duck fat potatoes are a common side dish offered at most highly touted steak houses. Unfortunately, the hour and 15 minutes of cooking time while watching and turning might be a deterrent for preparing these at home.

This recipe cuts the time in half with the help of an air fryer. What the somewhat bulky counter space hog may lack in design aesthetic it makes up for with its crisping factor. Starting the cut potatoes in boiling water will help with the prep time and aid in roughing up their surface by shaking them in a covered pot after draining. This, in turn, allows the duck fat, garlic powder and rosemary to cling to the surface of each potato and up their crispy-crunchy game.

Still not convinced and want to finish with an old-school technique? Once cooked and browned, sear the air-fried potatoes in a shallow roasting pan with heated duck fat for 5 minutes on each side in the oven. It may be an extra step, but it is worth the crunch.

Suppose you are lucky enough to know a restaurant chef or two; most of them will gladly share a container of duck fat they rendered themselves. Your next best alternative would be pure  D’Artagnan duck fat, made all-naturally from Moulard ducks, without additives or preservatives. (Cromers Market in Sag Harbor and Red Horse Market in East Hampton both carry 7-ounce containers of this popular brand; ask at the butcher department if you can’t find it.)

While these duck-fat potatoes would certainly be lovely with a Sunday roast or pork loin (check out Sandy Bermudez’s recipe here), they also make a great appetizer or nosh served with mayonnaise or a roughly chopped herb and oil chimichurri.

Sorry, dry January. We might need a glass of Macari 2020 “Lifeforce” cabernet franc to accompany these while watching that movie.

Duck fat potatoes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp duck fat
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • sea salt and pepper

Directions

  • In a large pot with fitted lid of boiling water, add 1 tablespoon salt and the potatoes. Boil for 10 minutes.
  • Drain and return to lidded pot.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, shake potatoes in pot with lid on to rough up the outside of the potatoes for 5 to 6 shakes.
  • Add duck fat, rosemary, and a good pinch of pepper. Carefully fold in until potatoes are well coated.
  • Add potatoes into the air fryer basket and cook for 15 minutes at 340°F.
  • Shake air fryer basket to toss potatoes, increase heat to 400°F and cook an additional 5 minutes until potatoes are crisp and brown. Fork test to be sure they are cooked through and fluffy on the inside.
  • For extra, extra crispy potatoes, heat 2 tablespoons of duck fat in a shallow metal roasting pan in 400° oven for 5 minutes until shimmering. Using tongs, carefully add the air fried potatoes into hot duck fat, roast 5 minutes, turn and roast additional 5 minutes. Transfer and drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh herbs and serve immediately.
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