Because no single way of eating works for everybody.
I had no idea duck fat was being called a “healthy fat” when I decided to write this post. Though this article in the L.A. Times says it’s not as “healthy” as olive oil. Mind you, that same article implies that butter isn’t “healthy”, so some of this is all about how you define “healthy”. Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that butter is a heck of a lot more “healthy” than margarine or corn oil or hydrogenated vegetable shortening or other processed tinkered-with kinds of oils…
But I digress.
Melissa McEwan of HuntGatherLove tweeted today about the Duck Things she was making in her kitchen – duck confit, duck stock, duck cracklings – and I was at once transported to last November’s writing retreat. That was the weekend when I got my first taste of potatoes shallow-fried in duck fat.
I don’t mean to go all poetical on you, but… oh, man, the indescribable awesomeness of potatoes shallow-fried in duck fat! The crispy-soft texture, and the rich, delicious duck-fat flavour!
I guess if you’re a vegetarian, a low-fat eater or a strict non-tuber paleo person, the very idea will make you go kind of queasy. But as a confirmed omnivore who’s coming to believe that the more natural the food, the better it is, I found this dish to be nutritious as well as massively yummy. I delved into potato nutrition a little in my last post. The other ingredient, duck fat, is a good source of vitamin E, and also of choline. ‘Cause everybody needs choline. (No, really, we do.)
So, yeah, I guess it really is a good excuse to go all poetical.
Duck fat is delicious,
Duck fat is sublime,
Duck fat! Duck fat! Duck fat!
Duck fat all the time!
Okay, not all the time. Duck fat is also not cheap. But if you get yourself a frozen utility-grade duck, which usually just means it’s missing a wing, and you render the fat according to these instructions, you get both duck fat and delicious roasted duck. (I honestly don’t know how free-range or non-antibiotic-fed a frozen utility duck would be; if it turns out that they’re filled with Bad Things, get a nice fresh organic duck for a treat and try it that way. More expensive, but less Icky Stuff.) Some butcher shops and specialty food shops will even sell you the duck fat already rendered.
I recommend it; give it a try.