Duck fat chips at chef Sean Connolly's new restaurant at The Star. Photo: Marco Del Grande
Duck fat has a higher smoke point than butter, so its rich flavour doesn't get lost when used for frying and roasting. A long-time favourite in French cooking, duck fat is available widely or you can render your own.
1. Potatoes any way
Duck fat is the perfect flavour boost for potatoes, whether you're roasting them or frying them as chips or rosti (pictured are Sean Connolly's duck fat chips). A great method is to use small, unpeeled potatoes, cut into thin, almost transparent slices. Put two parts duck fat and one part water in a pan and fry slices on a moderate flame until golden and cooked through. Season with salt flakes.
Make herb or garlic ''butter'' from duck fat to spread on croutons or to incorporate into soups and casseroles for an extra flavour dimension. Duck fat is lower in saturated fats than butter.
3. Savoury pastry
Use half-and-half butter and duck fat when making a shortcrust pastry. Duck fat pastry is ideal for meat pies and quiches, although its strong flavour means going easy on the seasoning for the pie filling and using milder-flavoured meats such as beef or turkey.
Use duck fat in a warm vinaigrette with bacon lardons for a salad dressing. Mix Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar (15 millilitres each) with 60 millilitres extra virgin olive oil. Mix 15 millilitres of warmed water with a teaspoon of duck fat. Combine ingredients.
Give scrambled duck eggs extra zing by cooking them in the fat of the bird or use duck fat when sauteing vegetables such as carrots, radishes or cabbage.
Ideas from Matthieu Megard, L'Artisan Cheese Timboon