Gone are the days before refrigeration when foods needed to stay preserved for months at a time. Thank goodness, right? But that doesn’t mean modern cooks can’t take a cue from confit, a French curing method involving simmering ingredients in a pool of flavorful fat.
Although fat has had its fair share of bad press over the years, it’s actually an essential ingredient in our diets. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, fat is “one of the body’s most basic building blocks.” Like coconut oil and olive oil, duck fat contains healthy monounsaturated fat (which may help lower cholesterol) and omega-3’s (which may help reduce inflammation). Duck fat does have some saturated fat, but this is where the adage “everything in moderation” applies.
It’s a philosophy shared by Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest, two former vegetarians-turned-Paleo enthusiasts who started their own food company—EPIC—after noticing how energized they felt when incorporating healthy fats into their meals. EPIC makes bone broth, protein bars, and animal fats from livestock raised on open pastures and sourced from organizations committed to the highest animal welfare standards.
Cage-Free Duck Fat is one of EPIC’s most popular products, and for good reason. Quite simply, it’s mild flavor helps elevate ordinary ingredients into memorable dishes for weeknights or special occasions alike. It also has a high smoke point (375 degrees), and unlike butter or olive oil, duck fat can be recycled and used again.
If you’re intrigued, here are a few ways to swap duck fat into your favorite recipes!
Instead of tossing popped kernels with melted butter, drizzle on warm duck fat.
Crispy, oven-roasted potatoes will have even more flavor when you toss them with duck fat and fresh, woody herbs like rosemary and thyme. You can also swirl duck fat into mashed potatoes instead of butter, or make this elegant take on domino potatoes.
Making soup for dinner? Start by warming duck fat in the pot instead of olive oil, then sauté your aromatics.
What goes better with soup than a dunkable grilled cheese sandwich? For a crisp texture, slather the bread with duck fat before grilling.
Mushrooms already boast an earthy flavor that pairs well with everything from meat to seafood. When sauteed with duck fat, though, they’ll taste even richer!
Toss these ’em with duck fat instead of olive oil before roasting, and you’ll have a side dish that’s so good everyone will want seconds.
If you usually slather a whole chicken with butter or oil before roasting, try duck fat for a crisper, more flavorful skin.
Instead of coating a cast iron pan with butter, add a spoonful of duck fat before searing your meat.
Amp up this light snack by massaging kale leaves with a bit of duck fat before sliding the tray into the oven.
Photo credit: Ella Ciamacco