Can’t wait for the gentle aroma of warm duck fat filling my kitchen and transforming it into the French country inn of my dream. This is how David Lebovitz describes the recipe of potatoes cooked in duck fat in My Paris Kitchen. The truth of the matter is: there was a “bomb cyclone” wreaking havoc in our region, any warming aroma in the house was welcoming and uplifting. After a plateful of these potato goodness, my husband stepped out in the cold and started removing the snow around the house without the usual grumps.
I used two kinds of potatoes and turned this recipe into a taste test. David suggests the russet potatoes, the kind of classic starchy potatoes which are generally good for the fryer. Since I fry potatoes infrequently, I keep mostly small new potatoes, the waxy kind, in the pantry for all-purpose cooking. Then I proceeded with sautéing both the russet and new potatoes in duck fat according to the recipe directions.
First, parboil the cut potatoes in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside. Over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of duck fat in a large cast-iron pan. When the fat is hot, add the potatoes in a single even layer. Then cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they brown on all sides. Shake the pan to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Sprinkle salt midway through. Add minced garlic during the last minute or two.
This is what I’ve found comparing the russet and new potatoes cooked in duck fat.
The peeled and more-or-less evenly cut russet potatoes look and taste more refined. They are skinless. However, the unpeeled and halved (or quartered) new potatoes have a more rustic appeal. When you are the cook, the new potatoes are more fun to do. No peeling and less cutting is involved. Also, they don’t stick to the pan the way russet potatoes do. They are easier to shake and roll in the pan. Finally, the new potatoes come in multiple colors of beige, red and purple.
Sometimes it’s hard to choose sides. Why not let the spirit of the day be the guide? I’m happy with either kind or both. Duck fat is a winning “good” fat. Love to have it around to make these crisp sautéed potatoes with tender centers of high-carb potatoey goodness. We need all the carb to carry the day.
I’m linking the post to Cook-the-book-Fridays when our friends there are cooking potatoes with this flavorful and good-for-you duck fat.