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Storing Duck Fat


maggiethecat
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Just use the bacon fat you've been saving in the freezer.  You have been saving your bacon fat in the freezer, haven't you?  :cool:

Coquille: don't let Sam make you feel guilty about not having bacon fat in your freezer. I'd bet he's got friggin' pigeon fat in his freezer. The guy collects fat the way most people collect belly button lint (which by the way doesn't go in the freezer, but in a Tupperware container in your pantry, lest it dehydrate in the low temperatures).

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Just use the bacon fat you've been saving in the freezer.  You have been saving your bacon fat in the freezer, haven't you?   :cool:

Coquille: don't let Sam make you feel guilty about not having bacon fat in your freezer. I'd bet he's got friggin' pigeon fat in his freezer. The guy collects fat the way most people collect belly button lint (which by the way doesn't go in the freezer, but in a Tupperware container in your pantry, lest it dehydrate in the low temperatures).

*slowly rising from the floor*

OK... thank you, Dave, for supplying my daily eGullet total incapacitation event.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Just use the bacon fat you've been saving in the freezer. You have been saving your bacon fat in the freezer, haven't you? :cool:

Bacon fat is good shit. Just pop popcorn in bacon fat if you want proof.

I love bacon. I love bacon fat. I am not a tourist.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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At $15/lb, it'd be cheaper to get already made duck confit.

Some gourmet delis/grocers make duck confit and often have fat that they'll sell you. I'd call around if I were you.

I've made duck "confit" in mixtures of different fats with duck fat, lard, olive oil, and bacon grease. Bacon grease and lard really impart too much flavor. Olive oil gives a flavor, too. Vegetable oils don't give enough flavor. A mixture of some duck fat with oil or shortening is the best alternative, I think. I don't know how good the oil versions are for a method of keeping the meat, either.

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I, too, am on the hunt for duck fat for confit. I am about to decide to get some ducks and have the meat as a bonus, soooo... If someone could answer the "How many ducks?" question, I would be most grateful. On average, how much fat do you get out of a duck? What is the best way to render it out?

Here is my current thinking:

Take off the breasts for another use another time.

Take off the legs for the confit.

Put all the rest in a stock pot and go for the slow simmer. Mirepoix or no? (Could add that later to finish the stock.)

Put the stock and fat in the fridge to chill.

Take the fat off and proceed with the confit.

Critique please... I am making this up as I go along. I don't know a lot about ducks. :biggrin:

Fifi,

You are better off if you make the stock and render the fat separately. Remove the breasts and legs and trim off excess fat. Trim as much fat as you can from the carcass. If you run a knife along the backbone, you will get most of the fat and skin.

Stock: I always roast the carcasses first. Sometimes, the hearts and gizzards go into the stock; sometimes, I confit the gizzards with the legs. I also always remove the kidneys from the carcass -- I think they can make the stock "slippery."

Fat: Place in a sauce pot and heat over very low heat for around 2 hours to render all fat. Strain; chill. I often save the "duck jello" that will congeal under the chilled fat. It can add body to sauces.

Confit: Rub the legs with a mixture of juniper berries, allspice berries, thyme, marjoram, pepper and salt. I tend to use less salt than most recipes call for. I don't want the fat to get too salty over time. Refrigerate overnight. Wash rub from legs. Dry legs. Confit in barely simmer fat until tender -- 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

I always buy whole ducks even if I want only the breast. Carcasses and fat get frozen separately. Legs too, if necessary. Sunday, I cleaned out the freezer's duck department. Ten carcasses became stock; 4 packages of fat, plus the fat of 2 ducks from this weekend got rendered. Tuesday night I confited a dozen legs.

Let's see. I have 1 quart of frozen duck fat at home plus the half gallon that I made and used to confit this week. There are 3 gallons of rendered fat in storage in my meat vendor's freezer. Oh, and, one of the local restaurants borrowed a gallon a year or so ago for which I have not requested repayment.

I love duck -- and use every part save the quack.

Edited for clarity and substandard typing skills.

Edited by MichaelB (log)
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The two pound tubs I've purchased are one quart plastic containers.

Then a pint's a pound (etc.) ?

Remember?

"A pint's a pound, the world around."

Well, that was the "etc." part. :wink:

But it's not always true. A pint of duck-butt pinfeathers won't weigh the same as a pint of slippery kidneys, for example.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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No one's mentioned goose fat or geese. You can certainly make confit with geese and I suspect a duck confit cooked in goose fat would be fine. Geese have a lot of fat. Of course geese are pretty big and I don't think the breasts are tender enough for use like magret de canard. We usually braise a goose when we cook it, but I know we pull out gobs of fat and usually render a good bit of it. Potatoes cooked in goose fat are superb. They beat potatoes cooked in butter or bacon fat in my opinion. I don't recall goose fat ever going bad, as long it's been clean white fat. We keep some in the refrigerator and some in the freezer for longer term. Sorry I can't give you an exact length of time we've had unfrozen fat and used it successfully. It just seems like a long time. I also can't guarantee it's in prime condition after any length of time either.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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"A pint's a pound, the world around" simply means that they're both 16 ounces -- the former fluid ounces, the latter, umm...well, whatever ounces of weight might be called.

Right. But as it turns out, pint of water-based liquid (stock, wine, juice) weighs pretty close to a pound, and sometimes that's helpful to know.

Edit to add: avoirdupois.

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Just use the bacon fat you've been saving in the freezer.  You have been saving your bacon fat in the freezer, haven't you?   :cool:

Coquille: don't let Sam make you feel guilty about not having bacon fat in your freezer. I'd bet he's got friggin' pigeon fat in his freezer. The guy collects fat the way most people collect belly button lint (which by the way doesn't go in the freezer, but in a Tupperware container in your pantry, lest it dehydrate in the low temperatures).

Wait... doesn't everyone collect rendered animal fat in the freezer?

I encourage all confit-ers to use whole ducks. The way I got all my duck fat was by going down to Chinatown and buying 4 cheapo whole ducks (including heads and feet, I might add). I trimmed off all the external fat, took the skin and fat off the breasts, and rendered it all down. That gave me more than enough fact to confit all of the duck meat once I packed everything tightly into an enameled cast iron casserole. An easy way to fill in the empty spaces is to cut the breasts in half and use them to fill in the gaps. Duck breast confit isn't too terribly interesting all by itself, but its great to have some in hand every time you feel like making duck ragu, duck gumbo, etc. You can also roast up the bones and make a killer duck stock with the four carcasses.

BTW, don't discount the idea of drying out your belly button lint in the freezer. You wouldn't believe how much money we save on Bacon Bits. :smile:

--

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Wait... doesn't everyone collect rendered animal fat in the freezer?

I've only got chicken fat, smoked chicken fat, turkey fat, smoked turkey fat, duck fat, and beef fat in my freezer. Clearly I need to work on my collection :blink:

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Just use the bacon fat you've been saving in the freezer.  You have been saving your bacon fat in the freezer, haven't you?   :cool:

Coquille: don't let Sam make you feel guilty about not having bacon fat in your freezer. I'd bet he's got friggin' pigeon fat in his freezer. The guy collects fat the way most people collect belly button lint (which by the way doesn't go in the freezer, but in a Tupperware container in your pantry, lest it dehydrate in the low temperatures).

:laugh:

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Wait... doesn't everyone collect rendered animal fat in the freezer?

I've only got chicken fat, smoked chicken fat, turkey fat, smoked turkey fat, duck fat, and beef fat in my freezer. Clearly I need to work on my collection :blink:

You'll know it's really getting out of hand when you have a big tub of shrimp fat tucked away in the freezer. :cool:

--

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Let's see. I have 1 quart of frozen duck fat at home plus the half gallon that I made and used to confit this week. There are 3 gallons of rendered fat in storage in my meat vendor's freezer. Oh, and, one of the local restaurants borrowed a gallon a year or so ago for which I have not requested repayment.

Are you married? :wub:

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. . . a big tub of shrimp fat . . .

Just out of curiosity, what do you think that would bring on eBay?

Hee! Who knows? A lot, maybe? Think about it... how many shrimp would be needed to get a quart of shrimp fat? A thousand? Ten thousand? That stuff would more precious than saffron.

--

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Let's see.  I have 1 quart of frozen duck fat at home plus the half gallon that I made and used to confit this week.  There are 3 gallons of rendered fat in storage in my meat vendor's freezer.  Oh, and, one of the local restaurants borrowed a gallon a year or so ago for which I have not requested repayment.

Are you married? :wub:

:hmmm:

Yes I am -- 21 plus years now. The duck confit may be my wife's favorite food of all.

And, the freezer cleaning was at her orders to make room for her annual Holiday cookie extravaganza. Over five days of Thanksgiving weekend, she bakes approximately 500 dozen Christmas cookies, 18 or so varieties. They get frozen and then used as gifts, etc over the holidays. Any meal with guests ends after pastry with a platter of several examples of each variety -- each more beautiful than the next. The cookie baking is one of her family traditions -- she baked with both her maternal grandmother and mother growing up.

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The duck fat from one duck is usually a little less than needed to confit that duck's legs/thighs. Of course it depends on the pot/casserole you are using also. I normally make up the difference by adding some pure (not the good Extra V stuff) olive oil.

To render it I put all fat chopped up small in a pot and add a little water (not enough to cover anything) then render over low heat.

I never freeze duck or bacon fat. The are safely tucked in the fridge and they taste great. DO I need to freeze them?

Elie

Edited by FoodMan (log)

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I never freeze duck or bacon fat. The are safely tucked in the fridge and they taste great. DO I need to freeze them?

I freeze it if I'm pretty certain I won't use it in, say, six weeks. It's not so much that the fat will go rancid in the 'fridge, it's that fats, even in closed containers, are great at picking up the aromas (not to mention downright odoriferous compounds) and tastes that waft about the enclosure.

This is not to say that freezers can't harbor some pretty stinky stuff, too, especially since, in most designs, the two compartments share the same air. Frozen fat is just less susceptible.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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The duck fat from one duck is usually a little less than needed to confit that ducks legs/thighs. Of course it depends on the pot/casserole you are using also. I normally make up the difference by adding some pure (not the good Extra V stuff) olive oil.

I never freeze duck or bacon fat. The are safely tucked in the fridge and they taste great. DO I need to freeze them?

Elie

I agree that one duck's fat isn't quite enough to cover -- at least in the posts I have. For the 12 legs and thighs I did this week, I needed the fat from the six ducks plus another cup or so from my already rendered stock.

Rendered fat will kepp a long time in the fridge if it is very clean. If you have any bits of meat, skin, trash, etc on the top, it will eventually get moldy. I try to keep a quart or so refrigerated and the remainder frozen. I always run the fat through a fine chinois before storing it.

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I always run the fat through a fine chinois before storing it.

This is certainly a key point, I do the same thing. I'm glad this thread came up as I am planning on making a batch soon for some cassoulet.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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