French,  Savoury

The perfect chip and a proxy papa

As the idea of me in charge of a vat of boiling duck fat is too harrowing to contemplate, my husband makes the chips in our house. I’m happy to report that my competence does however run to eating them. My husband is away for a few days this week and, last night, Hugo pussyfooted (sorry Hugo – I know that’s not very flattering) upstairs to Léo’s room to dispense a big slobbery goodnight kiss. He has never done this before and probably won’t do it again as, having woken Léo up, he got very short shrift (there was a burst of shouting and Hugo reappeared downstairs looking decidedly dejected, his tail between his legs). I realised that he obviously considers himself to be a stand-in papa, so now I’m wondering if he could bring the wood in for the hot-water boiler, take out the dustbins and then make me a big bowl of chips… stirring
Chips, or French fries, cooked in duck fat are a speciality of Southwestern France.  Duck fat is high in monounsaturated fats, which make up 50 percent of its total fat content, with saturated fat making up just 14 percent (much less than butter). Most of that fat is linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps maintain healthy cells, muscles and nervous system. It also boosts calcium absorption and aids in kidney function. From a nutritional point of view, duck fat is comparable to olive oil.
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 kg floury potatoes
2 litres duck or goose fat
Sea salt
Peel the potatoes and cut into medium-sized chips (roughly 6cm long, 4mm thick). Rince and dry in a clean tea towel. Place the fat in a deep frying or chip pan and heat to 150°C. Plunge half of the potatoes into the hot fat for four minutes, remove, drain and set aside. Repeat with the second half. Then recook the first batch for a further four minutes until golden brown. Remove, drain well, season and serve. Repeat with the second half.



  • Stacey Bender

    I had no idea that duck fat has a healthy side. No more will I feel guilty sautéing my potatoes on it; never thought to use it to make my “chips”.
    Poor Hugo, what a sweet boy.

    • The Healthy Epicurean

      Yes, it’s often maligned, but it’s in fact a very healthy fat. It accounts for, amongst other things, the fact that the French, particularly in the Southwest, have a very low incidence of cardiovascular disease. Oh, and it also tastes delicious!

  • apuginthekitchen

    Oh poor Hugo, I hope he doesn’t feel too dejected, I feel a post coming from the doggie journalist.
    French fries fried in duck fat, is one of life’s great pleasures. Oh yes, with some ketchup and mayo or even a salsa verde. Now I want some. I collect my duck fat and freeze, not quite enough to make fries though. Darn.

    • The Healthy Epicurean

      Well he is a bit depressed, but then he often is ;-). Nothing that some fries in duck fat won’t sort out. I love them with ketchup too – one of life’s great pleasures, as you say. I wish I could send you enough to make French fries but I fear it wouldn’t make it through customs!

  • Shari

    Let me know if you do get Hugo to bring in the wood, take out the dust bins, and make you chips. I may have to get a dog!:) I didn’t know duck fat was similar to olive oil in health benefits. Chips are one of my favorite things! I’m glad to know. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Healthy Epicurean

      Well he brings in little bits of wood or branches and chews them up in the house, he rifles though the dustbins and spreads the contents over the floor and the only thing he does with chips is eats them, so I can’t say that he is altogether as useful as a husband!

  • Mary Frances

    I feel bad for Hugo, but I have to say, a big slobbery kiss is not something I would enjoy waking up to either!
    I had no idea duck fat was on the healthy side of the spectrum. Good to know!

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