What goes to your mind when someone mentions using duck in cooking? Is it the famous foie gras? Or tasty duck confit?
No matter what you think, there is one thing in common in those recipes: they all require duck fat. The silky, golden liquid made from the fat of the duck appears in many cuisines from different countries, especially in France.
So, if you’re looking to try French recipes, you need to know how to render duck fat at home and other ways to use it in your day-to-day meal.
How To Render Duck Fat At Home
The duck fat has a distinguished flavor that is irreplaceable in a duck fat confit or fried potatoes. Although there are multiple products in the market, you will benefit more financially when rendering it at home.
That’s why in this post, we will get into the kitchen to make some silky duck fat from the whole duck.
- Duck skin and fat
- A Sharp Knife
- A heavy-bottomed saucepan
- a mesh strainer
- a glass jar
Rendering Duck (or Goose) Fat Instructions:
Rendering duck fat by stovetop is the most basic method for those with a small amount of kitchen equipment.
To prepare for this process, you need to have water, the duck skin and fat, a heavy-bottomed saucepan, a mesh strainer, and a glass jar.
Insert the fat and skin into the saucepan with 2 ounces of water. If you try to melt fat with a dry pan, your fat will quickly melt and scorch the pan, leaving you a mess of sticky black burn.
When water is boiled, it will help melt the fat. As fat is hydrophobic, it will remain after the water evaporates.
With the heavy-bottomed saucepan, the stovetop’s heat will be spread fully, leading to simultaneously melting fat.
Put the stovetop at medium-low heat and stir once in a while. It might take around an hour for the water to evaporate completely.
You will spot bubbling and cloudy reactions in your saucepan for a while. After one hour, the result is a golden oily duck fat with the brown skin left.
At this moment, grab your mesh strainer and the glass jar to strain the duck fat. Pour the fat slowly onto the mesh strainer to hold the skin from falling out.
And voila! A jar of duck fat with a duration of up to one year just for your recipes.
Health Benefits Of Cooking With Duck Fat
Duck fat is an amazing ingredient for deep-frying, roasting, or searing recipes. With a flexible function and distinguishing taste, it is also one of the healthiest animal’s fat.
The components of duck fat consist of 14% polyunsaturated fat, 37% saturated fat, and 50% monounsaturated fat. Due to these unique component amounts, duck fat has both cooking and health benefits.
As monounsaturated and saturated fats are high, duck fat has a high smoking point which will not affect the taste of your dish during cooking.
Certain fats with lower smoking points can create a burning and smoky taste to the dishes, which is undesirable.
Many professional chefs also love duck fat because of its flavor. Although standing alone, it doesn’t have a strong taste. When combined with other ingredients, duck fat enhances the characters of the dish tremendously.
You might even be surprised to know that duck fat is healthier than butter. Countries that use duck fat regularly tend to have lower heart attack rates than others with less duck fat usage.
This is due to the monounsaturated fats which are beneficial to your heart, and high blood cholesterol reduction.
Duck fat also contains antioxidants (such as zinc and selenium) that help promote antiaging, cancer reduction and even immune system boost.
How To Use Duck Fat
As we know, duck fat is a great ingredient in cooking with many health benefits; it would be a shame if you can only use it for duck confit. Here are different ways for you to utilize duck fat and enjoy it in different recipes:
Fried Recipes With Duck Fat
Originally, many famous chefs used duck fat to cook with French fries. You can even cook it with fried chicken recipes. When using duck fat, pan-fries it like usual until the meat or vegetable turns golden brown.
Searing Meat And Seafood With Duck Fat
What is a better way to enhance your dish taste than using duck fat? With its silky texture, golden color, and rich flavor, duck fat can easily mix with any meats and seafood to activate an extra taste.
Whether it is pork chops, shrimps, steaks, or duck liver, you can take your dishes to a new level with duck fat when cooking.
Veggies With Duck Fat
Salads, especially those are made with green vegetables, will be better with the salty and fatty duck fat flavor.
Certain vegetables such as frisée, mustard greens, radicchio, endive, and kale are intensified with a sour taste and sweetness from chopped vinegar or purple onions.
Roast and stir-fried vegetables will be your favorite dish when simmering with duck fat before cooking. A little fat will help increase the richness and facilitate caramelization.
All vegetables from roots to sugar-packed onions and asparagus or artichokes are all complimentary with duck fat.
Popcorn With Duck Fat
If you love a tasty homemade popcorn with a little bit of fatty and rich flavor, you should try with duck fat.
Just heat a large pot of duck fat with the popcorn inside, you can make a perfect popcorn without chewy. Then enjoy your tasty snack.
How To Store Duck Fat
Although there are many ways to use duck fat in your delicious recipes, some people don’t cook it that often can waste the rest of the rendered duck fat.
That’s when you need to store it properly to use it in the future. The good news for you is the shelf life of duck fat is quite long when stored in a fridge or freezer.
So how long does duck fat last in the fridge, or can you freeze duck fat? You can maintain it for a maximum of 6 months in the fridge and up to one year in a freezer. Here are the steps to preserve duck fat properly:
- Pour your duck fat into a jar or heat-proof container.
- Put the jar in the fridge to solidify the liquid.
- Scoop out all the white fat and water-soluble layer on top of the fat. This is the important part as white fat will elevate the oxidation and reduce the shelf life of your duck fat.
- Then leave it inside the fridge or freezer for the desired time.
When you freeze duck fat, you can separate it into a small block rather than a whole jar. This way will be easier for you to reuse it as you can put it directly from frozen.
You can use refrigerated and frozen duck fat right away in roasting or frying recipes. Putting the fat on the saucepan and letting it melt under the heat is the easiest way to cook it.
1. What’s The Difference Between Rendered Duck Fat And Rendered Goose Fat?
You might see some recipes require rendered goose fat, and you only have duck fat in the kitchen. Don’t worry, as rendering goose fat is pretty similar.
The only difference is the strong and gamey flavor of goose is more intense than duck fat.
2. How Long Does Duck Fat Last?
Duck fat can last a long time in the fridge and freezer but not at room temperature.
As it can only last three days at room temperature, storing duck fat in a cool place is the best method to keep it usable for a while. This applies the same to goose fat storage.
Duck are no stranger to our cuisine, especially in roasting and smoking dishes. Besides the tender meat, duck fat is amazing for dressing and intensifying your recipes as well.
Knowing how to render duck fat and its nutrition, you can start rendering duck fat from whole duck and use it for many roasted, smeared, or fried dishes in the future. Now let’s treat yourself with some yummy duck recipes!