Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saturday Southern Brunch....and Duck Fat.

My friend Darrell and I have been unleashing his inner foodie for the past couple weeks, and we're really taking it to the limit. His first meal for me was roasted chicken with veggies...there was also scallion eggs, brown rice, and bok choy on the side.

Look at all that crispy skin!! Everything was roasted to perfection in his amazing cast iron skillet. Also, this was an especially plump bird, so all of the veggies got covered in chicken fat. YUM.

It was my turn to cook for him the next week, and he settled on biscuits and sausage gravy. Which I had NO problem with, since I love rustic food...covered in gravy. And on the side: duck fat hashbrowns. I found the fat at Dean & Delucca Weekend brunch is supposed to be indulgent, right?


I used canned biscuits (THE FLAKY KIND) because I didn't feel like making them from scratch. The gravy though, is a breeze once you get the technique down.You only need: sausage, flour, milk, salt, and pepper. That's it!

Since there was only the two of us, I only used half a tube of Jimmy Dean sausage. Dar sliced that half into patties, and I fried them up in his cast iron skillet until they were cooked and crisped. I love cast iron for stuff like this because it holds heat so well.

I removed the sausage to drain and left the fat that was rendered in the pat. It looked to be about 2 tablespoons worth, which was a little short of what I wanted. I added just a tipple of the duck fat.

I see you running away! Come back. This is gonna be tasty, I swear.

Anyway! I sprinkled a couple of flour over the fat and started to whisk it over medium-low heat. You want to whisk the flour and fat together, until it starts to brown a bit and smell nutty. You want to cook all of that raw flour taste right out, and since the pan was already pretty warm, it won't take that long. Then, add your milk. I started with a cup, and then added some more because I thought it was too thick. Keep whisking all throughout!

Dar crumbled up 2 of the patties for me and sprinkled them back into the gravy. That blur is me, whisking furiously.

The gravy will bubble up as you add the milk, but just keep whisking until...well, it looks like gravy. Creamy and luscious. Taste a bit and adjust the salt and pepper. Under-seasoned gravy tastes like library paste. I turned off the heat and let it hang out while Darrell made the green beans. Gravy thickens the more you let it stand, so to serve, I just turned the fire on very low, added a little more milk, and whisked it back to the consistency we wanted.

He used a piece of duck fat/skin he had left over from some Thai food, and a little ladle of the liquid stuff, to pan roast the beans.

He tossed them in the pot over high heat to crisp them up a bit, put a little bit of water in the pan, and covered it so it could soften. I think it took about 5-10 minutes.

OH THE HASHBROWNS! I almost forgot. These are so easy, it's criminal. Take a couple potatoes (we used 3-4 because we're greedy) and shred them up with a box grater. Take a bunch of paper towels or a large dish cloth, place the shreds inside, and SQUEEZE out the moisture. The drier you get the potatoes, the better. They'll crisp up better without all of its inner liquids and starch, and you'll have nicer hashbrowns. I fried these up in batches with the duck fat over medium-high heat until they were brown and crispy.

I can smell your jealousy.

Served with Brooklyn Brewery's Brown Ale. And another picture, because I'm feeling torturous:

This, I feel is the best way to spend a Saturday. A cold brew, a good friend...and eating a lot of things fried in the fat of ducks. Quack.


  1. Can't wait for the next feast! Honestly, how many ducks had to die for us to enjoy that meal? Probably only two or three, but that still seems like a lot.

  2. Wow this looks awesome! Thanks for the hashbrown tip, I was wondering why I wasn't getting the crispiness.

    I'm jealous of your duckfat jar, gotta find one :)