Duck Fat French Fries

Here’s where we separate the foodies from the people who only look at our website to be nice to us.

When I say “duck fat,” do you drool or wrinkle your nose? If you’re curious, but not grossed out, come join us on the foodie side right away. Those still making faces need only try a few potato slices fried in the stuff.

Michael and I contemplated a 6-hour drive up to Hot Doug’s after watching the Anthony Bourdain Chicago episode where he went to the place famous for its sausages and duck fat fries. We restrained ourselves on account of that whole school thing we’re enrolled in. But enter Mike Odette, our favorite James Beard Award Semifinalist. He gave us some leftover duck fat a few weeks ago, and I immediately got to cleaning and slicing potatoes. (Oh to have friends in high places!)

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Normally I bake my French fries, but when you have duck fat, you forget about your waistline and double fry those suckers. If you happen to get your hands on some duck fat, I suggest you do the same.


Duck Fat French Fries

  • Pint of duck fat
  • Potatoes (One per person…or more)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Seasoning (Simple salt and pepper, or get creative)

If you’re picky, peel the skins off the potatoes, otherwise just scrub them well. Slice the potatoes to desired thickness. Put in a bowl and cover with cold water. Add a good heaping of salt and a splash or two of vinegar. Leave the fries in this mixture for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours. This helps draw the moisture out of the potatoes so you get a crispier fry.

Heat the duck fat (or any oil, I guess) in a deep pot, pan or other frying apparatus you might have. Drain the potatoes and pat as dry as possible. Any moisture on the potatoes will cause a lot of dangerous duck fat splattering.

Add potatoes in small batches. For really crispy fries, fry for a few minutes, then remove to paper towel before thoroughly cooked. Do this with all the potatoes, then return par-cooked fries to oil for a second fry. Some places get really crazy and triple fry. I wouldn’t have the patience. And double worked just great for us.

Category: Recipes | Tags: , , , 31 comments »

31 Responses to “Duck Fat French Fries”

  1. Eric Reuter

    Well, count us among the foodies, I guess. We saved and rendered down the fat from last Thanksgiving’s fresh on-farm roasted goose. Goose or duck fat is just wonderful.

  2. A Free Man

    Um, YUM! One of the only things that the English have contributed to world cuisine is potatoes roasted in goose fat, so I can only imagine what these would be like.

  3. Mark Scarbrough

    Oh, holy cow! I LOVE fries in duck–or goose–fat. One day, I came home from the gym (!) and Bruce had made a big tray of potatoes sarladaise–potatoes fried in goose fat and then cooked with parsley and the goose confit meat in a big casserole. I ate half the damn thing! I loved every bite. I can’t imagine anything better than fries in duck fat.

  4. maggie (p&c)

    Um, awesome. Amazing. Duck fat makes everything better.

  5. Pam

    ok, I have always considered Mike a good friend, but he has never given ME duck fat!!! I am so jealous…

  6. JHL

    You should check out Hot Dougs in Chicago for great duck fat fries on the weekends ( http://www.hotdougs.com) or Duckfat ( http://www.duckfat.com) in Portland ME ( a culinary mecca for a town of 150K )

    Its well worth the trip to either.

  7. Michael (He Cooks She Cooks)

    I almost ate at Hot Dougs on Friday, but the line was 50 people long and it was chilly, so we headed a bit west and north and had some amazing pulled pork at Smoque instead. I’ll be posting photos/review soon!

  8. Mari

    Having crossed the ocean to eat at Hot Doug’s (Amsterdam-Chicago) I can honestly tell you that a 6-hour drive is worth the effort, and I didn’t even go there on duck fat fry day. We were served by Doug ourselves, and I told him after our 4 person/7 hot dog tasting orgy, that if he wasn’t already married I would have proposed on the spot. It’s that good.

  9. Restaurant Rant or Sean’s Unsolicited Advice to Restauranteurs | What's Inside Our Brains

    [...] grub. Someday all you dipwad hipster foodies will burn in Hell, preferably boiled in large vats of duck fat or used as a garnish next to epic-sized bowls of [...]

  10. Adam

    Will try this out this weekend…

    Side note: if you are ever in NYC there is a great french restaurant in SoHo that makes their fries in duck fat called Raoul’s. Everything else they do is great also…

  11. Anna

    There’s a restaurant in Maryland that serves duck fat fries smothered in melted cheese and pieces of duck meat…SO GOOD.

  12. Richard

    OMG! I freaken love them! there was this place in West Hollywood that had them, they would know me when i came in that i would have one plate as the appetizer then another with my meal and a third for dessert! they were so light and sweety/salted with a dusting of fresh baked herbs. OH no drooling again! I know over doing it but once in awhile after a really bad day at work with a glass of good wine it was pure heaven! I need to know where i can get duck fat here in San Diego. anyone have any ideas?

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  14. Magda Volante

    Interesting stuff mate.

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  22. Shanghai Chef

    As a chef – restaurant owner in China now for 5 years, I recently put duck fat fried sweet potato fries on my menu. I tossed them in a cinnamon cayenne brown sugar and cumin dust and they are a huge hit. Another way is to par bake them, then fry in the duck fat. Turned out great. Cheers.

  23. robert

    hey guys, i looked at a few dozen duck fat fries recipes and yours was by far the best. i used half/half veg oil and duck fat, only cause i didnt have enough. anyway, thanks for the beta!

  24. Matthew

    The duck fat fries at Stripsteak in Vegas are Unreal! They are served as an appetizer with three different sauces for dipping. I cannot begin to explain how good these fries are. Most likely the best fries I have ever tasted.

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  27. Vanessa

    I have to admit that I was a little dissapointed on the fries. Yes, they are flavorful, but certainly not the best fries I’ve ever eaten. I didn’t have to make any changes since I already pre-season and do everything you suggested for the fries, so our biggest change was to fry in duck fat instead of oil. I have to say that we were dissapointed. Yes, they are creamier, but they are also not as crunchy as when you use oil. My son really liked them, but they are simply not the best way to fry. But with that said, in my culture most of the staple foods are fried, therefore I might be a little bias and have a lot more experience with fried foods.

  28. shira

    This is great, as I’m planning on making sweet potatoe duck fries tonight to finally use up all the duck fat rendered from my braised duck like 6 months ago! (I sniff-checked it, still good!). Thanks for the tips, here’s hoping all turns out well!

  29. Ron Bednar

    Duck fat is very tasty but I prefer rice bran oil for frying.
    Excellent flavor and the highest smoke point of oils.
    I also like taro root soaked the same as the potato pieces but fried in coconut oil. You should try both sometime…also both are very good for you if you are health conscious. Rice bran oil makes great vinaigrette too. And fermenting the fries for and hr makes them acceptable for type 2 diabetics. The fermentation eats up the starches. Google Pickl-It…I have no connection to the compant ay all.

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