Duck Fat and Cracklings
Rendering duck fat is easy to do at home. And you'll get the added bonus of cracklings!
- Skin and fat of duck*, cut into one-inch pieces
- 1 cup filtered water
- Maldon sea salt, to taste *for cracklings/fritons
Cooking time 60mins
* To remove skin: using a sharp knife, carefully slice through the skin and fat layers, as close as possible to the duck meat, but avoid cutting into the meat itself. Work slowly around the entire duck, front and back, until all skin is removed.
Place the skin pieces in the bottom of a stockpot or Dutch oven. Tall sides are ideal so you avoid getting "kissed". Pour the filtered water over the top. Heat over medium-low allowing it to simmer, stirring often, until the water has evaporated.
The skin pieces will begin to turn golden in color, continue to stir and cook until the fat has fully released from the skin and the skins are crispy. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove the pot from heat. Scoop out the cracklings with a metal slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Season with Maldon sea salt while still hot. The cracklings can be stored in a glass storage container with a lid at room temperature for up to three days, not that they will last that long.
Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a pint-sized mason jar. Carefully pour the rendered duck fat into the strainer and jar. The cheesecloth and strainer will catch any brown bits and the result should be a glorious golden fat. Let the rendered duck fat cool to room temperature before covering. Store in the fridge for upwards of six months or freeze for up to a year. My 8 oz. yield was from a 6 1/2 pound duck.
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