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Duck Fat

Is Duck Fat Good Fat?

Can I eat my confit out of date?

Duck Fat is Seen as Healthier than Butter, Pork or Beef Fat. And it’s Tasty…!

I’ve always said that duck fat is good for you. That’s a bit tongue in cheek (not duck tongues of which I’ve just seen a picture), because it’s not as healthy as fresh air or a tomato but for fat it is remarkably good. And as I said above, it tastes good and I might even go as far as saying it tastes the better than anything for frying, roasting, etc.

So why am I now saying that YES, it is a good fat. Of course there are arguments and apologists for just about everything but on the whole duck fat isn’t as bad as it looks or tastes. here are some of the reasons. If you’re unsatisfied with any of this, please do your own research…

    • It’s not processed. It’s from one place – ducks! Compared to all the modern “low fat” stuff it has the distinct benefit of being a one source, unadulterated natural product
    • It’s low in saturated fats. Duck fat is 62% un-saturated – that’s the good stuff from a  cholesterol point of view
    • It has some saturated fats but it’s lower considerably than butter
    • It has a surprisingly high level of a mono-unsaturated fat called oleic acid – whuich is what makes olive oil so popular and is often credited witgh being the secrte of the Mediterranean diet and it’s association with longevity. 40% of duck fat is oleic acid (vs olive oil’s 71%), so it’s not quite in that league
    • Chart nicked from “Best Health Mag”. Thanks…

      As you can see from this chart, it falls in the middle (though in fact some vegetable oils are even better than olive oil). NB Mono’s are best, I think, then un-saturated then saturated. If something is high in one it means it’s lower in the others!

    • This is by far from conclusive but I’ve just picked this up from another site (www.edinformatics.com) and it does beg a question or two…

      The French Paradox: In the United States, 315 of every 100,000 middle-aged men die of heart attacks each year. In France the rate is 145 per 100,000. However, In the Gascony region, where goose and duck liver form a staple of the diet, this rate is only 80 per 100,000… This phenomenon has recently gained international attention as the French Paradox –They eat more fat in Gascony than anyplace else, but they live the longest .

It should also be noted in duck  fat’s favour that it cooks ata high temperature and doesn’t burn like butter.

 

Duck Confit Fat For Frying Eggs

Have a break from confit de canard and use the fat to fry your eggs, potatoes, anything?

Yum Yum: tastes like a farm yard...

Have I mentioned that an egg fried in duck fat tastes fantastic. (The fat is free – left in the tin after you take the duck confit out – and even after you’ve used some of it for frying your potatoes with your confit de canard meal)? Did I?

Well maybe or maybe not but the pioint is that I don’t think free range eggs taste that different to other eggs. I always buy free range in support of the poor egg-laying chickens but I really don’t think you can taste the free-range-ness. BUT if you fry them in duck fat then I think you taste the farm ayrd or at least the country-side. It’s the fat that gives the flavour…

Just a tip: Always warm the fat slowly to the right temperature before frying eggs or onions or anything. the duck fat properties fry beautifully but don’t burn it…

French Duck Fat Saves Christmas Day

The Best Roast Potatoes Are Roasted in Confit de Canard “Graisse”

Confit de Canard (Manchons) comes to the rescue…. So Christmas Day arrives and although the turkey is being cooked up the road in another oven (and transported here in a wheelbarrow, wrapped in protective winter clothing of newspapers) we’re cooking everything else here.  But there’s no duck fat in the fridge (as usual) because we used it all last week.

Oh my goodness… what to do?

Warm and open a tin of confit de canard manchons of course and drain off the warmed fat.  Add that fat/grease to the par-boiled potatoes and in the oven for perfect roast potatoes and Xmas lunch has the perfect roast potatoes.  No pictures, sorry but they  looked and they tasted fantastic! And then the next day we cooked the manchons with some left over red cabbage.  Yum Xtra yum.

Basic Cooking Instructions for Confit de Canard

Confit de Canard (Duck Confit) ~ Roast Or Fried

I waver between preferring my confit de canard fried or roasted. Neither description really conjours the idea of how it cooks because of the properties of duck fat and it’s specific cooking properties and because the duck confit is already cooked and in some ways your cooking is really heating. And either frying or oven~roast is equally delicious and the taste much the same.  (Now, duck fat itself is worthy of many more articles ~ which will follow soon ~ Search for duck fat in the tags.)

In either case you open the tin ~ ideally heated in bain marie (warm water to you & me) or left on top of the cooker first, so that the meat comes easily away from the fat or else you’re struggling a bit ~ and put the duck in a  frying pan or an oven dish with the fat and cook for about 20 minutes.

The reason that confit de canard is so highly regarded as a “gourmand” dish is the flavour which comes becasue it’s been cooked before it’s preserved (seasoned, marinaded and cooked in it’s fat for 24 hours or so) and the second cooking brings out all the flavours double~so.  Many French do the first preparation themselves (they do the “confit” bit which I have always understood to mean “potted”) but if you have a tin you just have to do the second cooking which is literally as simple as the above.

You can add to onions your confit de canard  if you fry or oven~roast and some ground black pepper if preferred.  Salt is usually unnecessary.

It’s best to drain off or spoon off the excess fat which you must keep – either to cook your potatoes in at the same time or later.  You’ll have enough duck fat left to fry eggs or potatoes (or start many other dishes)  on many more occasssions from one 1.35kg tin.  Keep the duck fat in the fridge in a jam jar when you’re not using it.