I had a wonderful visit with family when I flew to Chicago last week for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a rare opportunity for us to spend a holiday together and I loved every minute of it. My daughter and SIL are true foodies and are always more than willing to show me what Chicago has to offer in the way of deli’s, bakeries, ethnic markets, gourmet grocery store and fine dining, and this trip was no exception. I mentioned that I wanted to find some high quality rendered duck fat for several recipes I want to try and, sure enough, they knew exactly where we had to go to get it. Don’t I have the best kids ever? It isn’t every SIL who would drive his MIL halfway across Chicago for a container of duck fat. They took me to Czimer’s in Homer Glen, Illinois, a store that specializes in game meats, game birds and seafood. Their website is very interesting if you care to take a look. Their freezer cases were filled with meats and poultry I’ve never seen available anywhere else: venison, black bear, elk, buffalo, antelope, ostrich, llama, even camel and kangaroo. I wasn’t tempted to give any of them a try, but I did buy a container of the rendered duck fat I was hoping to find. The owner was very knowledgeable and explained how to use and store my purchase. The container of fat was frozen and I just wrapped it in newspaper and it stayed frozen solid for my 5 hour flight back home. I scooped out the 2 tablespoons I needed for this recipe and the contained went right back into the freezer. A little goes a long way and I will get many recipes worth out of the pint of fat that I purchased. I was happy that my bag wasn’t one selected to be searched on my flight home. I didn’t want anybody confiscating my duck fat.
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for pan
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons rendered duck or bacon fat, melted
- 1 teaspoon or more kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lbs. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into ⅛ inch slices
- 1 small sweet onion such as Maui or Walla Walla Sweet
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, Preheat to 425 degrees. Brush a foil or parchment lined baking sheet with butter. Set the outer ring from a 9-inch springform pan on top.
- Toast caraway seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool. Place in a resealable plastic bag; crush with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Or grind in a spice grinder.
- Place in a large bowl. Add duck fat, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add potatoes and toss to coat.
- Arrange ¼ of potatoes in an even layer inside the ring on the baking sheet, overlapping as needed. Toss onion in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Arrange ⅓ of the onion over potatoes. Repeat layers twice more, finishing with a layer of potatoes. I made a little change in the baking instructions here. The recipe says to remove the ring. I baked the potatoes with the ring in place for about 15 minutes and then removed it. If any of the potato slices start to slide off the circle secure them in place with a toothpick. Bake until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Brush the potatoes with some of the duck fat and butter that oozed out onto the parchment paper and bake another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp.
- Run a thin spatula under the galette to loosen and slide it onto a serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and sea salt.
Duck fat isn’t an often used ingredient here in the U.S. but in regions of France it is a common pantry staple. It enhances the earthy flavor of fried potatoes and gives them a delicious silkiness and golden-crisp edges. This potato galette is an example of a rustic French side dish that pairs wonderfully with roasted meats. I heated leftover galette in a saute pan the next morning and topped the potatoes with fried eggs and bits of crisp bacon. If you don’t want to bother making a galette just fry cubed cooked potatoes in hot fat until they are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Season with sea salt and you’ve got a dish fit for royalty. Duck fat is now a staple in my freezer too. I just hope I can find it locally. If not, this may require another trip to Chicago.
This recipe is featured in the December issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. The issue is filled with fantastic recipes and I will be posting several of them before Christmas. I want to try every single cookie recipe and will start off with Lemony Slice-and-Bakes and Almond Oat Lace Wafers. Stay tuned.
We had our fill of leftovers by the weekend and decided to go to Freddy’s Pizza for Italian take out. My kids love this place and my friend Marie at Proud Italian Cook had written a post about it so I was familiar with the name. If you would like to see more photos of this amazing place go to Marie’s blog for a little tour.
Freddy’s is a tiny shop, but there is more packed into it than the mind can take in. Everything smelled so good and I got a little carried away so we went home with lasagna, chicken marsala, braciole, arancini stuffed with spinach and cheese and meat and peas, rapini with garlic and crusty bread. And it was so very good.
The pizza looked out of this world, but it had to wait for another visit.
I’m linking this post to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum and Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper.
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