Remember when I was getting ready for my practical exam last week and I told you I had to cut potatoes into a medium dice. Well, the chef looked at me and basically said, “I see you are trying. Work on it a little more”. Um. Not exactly the response I was looking for but I was pretty happy it was over and done with and we were moving on to a new module. Good riddance, medium dice!
Turns out those damn potatoes are going to be haunting me a lot longer! I just found out they are going to be on the next practical exam as well. This time cooked in a similar preparation to the ones in this post. Hence, I have to practice medium-dicing a lot of potatoes. That gives me an excuse to pan fry these babies in one of my new favorite ingredients in the kitchen; duck fat, aka liquid gold. That’s what our chef told us it was and he was right.
Check out my classmate Madhuri’s awesome post about duck fat here on her blog, Fatscheme. “With only half of the amount of saturated fat that butter and many vegetable oils have, duck fat consists of 67% monounsaturated “good” fat. Similar to olive oil, it is rich with the highly sought after oleic and linoleic acids which can actually help lower levels of cholesterol.” This girl did her research! I’m hearing this may be the secret to low cholesterol for the French since they use duck fat a lot more than we do.
I was sold based on it’s high smoking point (like canola oil), minimal processing (we actually render it at the school by simmering down the skin) and AMAZING taste! Apparently, Whole Foods sells it ready to go. I found this out from my friend Meredith when she posted these scallops pan-seared in duck fat. I use it for chicken and basically anything else I can think of. You can start slowly if you like. Pan fry potatoes, toss them with garlic and parsley and just sprinkle some salt and pepper to season. Trust me, you’ll be seeking out some liquid gold wherever you can find it and using it for many other foods soon too!
Btw, not such a great job on the medium dice here either. I guess I’ll just have to whip up another batch!
- 4 potatoes, peeled and diced as pictured (yours don't have to be exact but the closer they are in size, the more uniformly they cook)
- 3 T duck fat (or enough to just cover the potatoes (you can use canola oil as well)
- 2 T parsley, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put diced potatoes in pot and cover with water about an inch over the potatoes. Add a heavy pinch of salt to the water. (My chef said you want the water to taste like the sea when you are boiling vegetables and pasta in it.)
- Bring just to rolling boil, drain and lay out on parchment paper to dry for about 15 minutes
- Heat a medium saucepan at high heat and place enough duck fat or canola oil to cover the potatoes
- Put the potatoes in the pan and continue tossing them so they brown evenly on all sides. Once browned, remove from fire. If you use duck fat, drain most of the oil but reserve about a tablespoon in the pan and add minced parsley and garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and allow garlic to cook in the hot pan for less than a minute. (If you used canola oil, drain all of it and add a tablespoon of butter to the pan for flavor before tossing in the rest of the seasoning)
- Serve and enjoy!