Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes with Rosemary Sea Salt
Potatoes cooked in duck fat and sprinkled with rosemary sea salt is a match made in heaven. Yes…..the French really know what they are doing. This is a classic French dish that pairs so well with steak or even with something like Mussels or a bold chicken dish.
“Why duck fat?” you may ask. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and so it’s good for roasting at high temperatures to get that crispy outside on the potato. But more importantly it packs in a ton of flavor. And duck fat isn’t gamey, like you’d expect, but more of an earthy undertone that gives a real depth of flavor to the potatoes. Even my non-gourmet ten-year-old loved them. You could use lard instead of duck fat if you can’t find it. Or bacon fat. The lard would not have the flavor and the bacon grease would give it a little porky flavor so I prefer this duck fat version but sometimes you just have to go with what you can get.
I decided to make a Rosemary Sea Salt instead of just sprinkling rosemary and salt on separately. The real reason behind that decision is that if you crumble the sea salt ( I used Maldon) with the fresh Rosemary with your fingers you are releasing the oils from the Rosemary into the salt and creating the perfect, crumbly mixture. So the ratio of salt to rosemary is just right and the salt is really flavored by the rosemary. Okay. A little neurotic. But its a nice touch. And an extra can be saved in an air-tight container for other delectable dishes.
As for the potatoes…..I wanted to do something that was more refined in presentation so I decided to slice them about 1/2 inch thick and then roast them. You could just opt to smash the baby potato (after you par boil it) and add to the duck fat and roast it that way, too. Less time consuming and more rustic. Up to you!
I think the par boil step is an important one because the potatoes cook more evenly that way. You don’t risk getting a tough center. Just for about 8 minutes. You definitely don’t want to overcook them but just a slight edge off the raw potato makes a world of difference. You can make this step ahead of time so that it’s not so time intensive at the last minute.
For presentation I removed them from the roasting pan onto a serving platter and added a fresh sprig of rosemary. But for a family dinner or a more rustic occasion just serve in the roasting pan and save yourself a step. I can taste the juicy steak that I am going to serve with these potatoes right about now…..
- Ingredients for Crispy Duck Fat Potatoes with Rosemary Sea Salt. Just 4 ingredients!
2. Make the Rosemary Sea Salt. This step can be done ahead and stored in an airtight container. Start with a good quality flaky sea salt like Maldon and fresh rosemary sprigs.
3. Add the finely chopped rosemary to the sea salt.
4. Crumble the sea salt and rosemary together with your fingers to break down the salt and release the oils from the rosemary. Set aside.
5. Preheat your oven to 450. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook for about 8 minutes. They should still be firm and not cooked through.
6. Drain and let cool.
7. Slice potatoes into 1/2 inch think slices. Don’t go too thin or they will burn in the oven. If you want a more rustic dish just smash the whole baby potato and put them in the pan that way.
8. Add the duck fat to a large oven-proof skillet and place in the oven for about 5 minutes to get the duck fat hot.
9. Layer the potatoes in the pan in a single layer (as best you can). Or add smashed potatoes to the pan in a single layer.
10. Season first side with a little of the rosemary sea salt.
11. About half way through (around 30 minutes in) check to see if the first side is browned and flip over.
12. Season second side with a little more of the rosemary sea salt. (You won’t use it all). Then continue roasting for another 20 to 30 minutes.
13. Finished crispy duck fat roasted potatoes with rosemary sea salt. Taste for seasoning and add more if desired. Serve from the pan (Family Style) or remove to a platter and garnish with fresh rosemary.
- 1 1/2 lbs baby yellow potatoes
- 3/4 Tablespoon flaky sea salt (Maldon recommended)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 4 Tablespoons duck fat
- Make the rosemary sea salt by combining the flaky sea salt with the finely chopped rosemary and crumbling together with your fingers to release the oils in the rosemary and break down the salt. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 450. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook for approximately 8 minutes. Do not overcook or the potatoes will fall apart when you cut them. Drain and set aside. Let cool completely
- Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces or thicker. Too thin will burn. Add the duck fat to a large oven-proof skillet and place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat the fat.
- Carefully remove pan and add the potatoes into the pan in an even layer (if possible). Season first side with some of the rosemary sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the first side is browned.
- Flip potatoes over once and season the second side with a little bit more of the rosemary sea salt. Continue roasting for another 20-30 minutes until the second side is browned and potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove from oven. Taste for seasoning and add more if desired or reserve remaining rosemary sea salt for another use. Serve hot with fresh rosemary.