Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes

Smashed Potatoes fried in duck fat

There are few things simpler and more magical than fried potatoes. The perfect french fry, crisp on the outside, and piping-hot and pillowy on the inside, can be an ethereal experience. Unfortunately, for many, it’s an experience that’s only had in a restaurant (usually of the fast food variety). Restaurant fries give fried potatoes a bad name, running the gamut from chewy boot-leather salt-lick, to flavourless and limp grease-stick.

So what do you do when you’re craving good fried potatoes, but don’t want to create a gallon of waste oil? Well, if you happen to have some rendered duck fat sitting around, you can make these smashed potatoes. They’re easy to make and you only need a smidge of fat to get the perfect fried potato.

smashed potatoes

First the potatoes are boiled in liberally salted water, before they are lovingly smashed into thick patties. The boil in the briny water cooks the potatoes through while infusing just the right amount of salt into each spud. Then a fry in a puddle duck fat imbues the rich meaty essence of duck into each tatter while crisping up the skin into a crackling shell.

I could turn these into a meal by themselves, but they also make the perfect side. They’re wonderful with a little Maldon sea salt sprinkled on top, but if you feel the need to get fancy, you could top them with a garlic alioli, or serve them with a side of sour cream and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Duck Fat Fried Smashed Potatoes Recipe

12 whole baby yukon gold potatoes washed
water and salt for boiling
1/2 C rendered duck fat

Add the whole potatoes to a large pot and cover with a few inches of water. Pour salt into the water until it tastes like the sea. Cover and bring the water to a boil. Remove the lid and simmer until you can pass a fork through the potato. Drain the potatoes and let the residual heat dry the skins (you’ll notice the skin start to turn white as the salt crystalizes).

Using the flat side of a chef’s knife (or the bottom of a plate), gently smash the potatoes so they are about 3/4″ thick. In a cast iron skillet, heat the duck fat until hot, then add the potatoes in a single layer. Fry until they potatoes are brown and crispy on one side, then use tongs to flip them and brown them on the other side.

Drain on a paper towel lined rack and serve immediately.

  • Chef E

    Love this, love it love it!

  • heather

    i've had the good fortune to have this once when we were able to procure some duck fat from a cheese shop in minneapolis. drool.



  • cathy x.

    mmmm nothing beats chips cooked in duck fat! especially when leave the potatoes to dry out in the fridge for an hour before frying them so you get that really intense crust :P**

  • Miriam/The Winter Guest

    O la la… anything is delicious fried in duck fat…

  • maybelles mom

    my my, you live a delicious life.

  • ilinap

    I'm thinking some crumbled stilton or bleu cheese on top would be decadent.

  • Livia

    You weren't kidding about the gently smashing. So 4 patties and one mashed later – they were every bit as delicious as promised. Well, possibly they could have been even better if I'd had duck fat, but this was also the perfect way to use up the fat leftover from the last time I roasted a chicken and I'd had hanging around without a purpose.

    Thank you very much for the timely suggestion.

  • barbarakiebel

    I've made these for year always using a combination of olive oil and butter; duck fat sounds decadently good!

  • jentinyurbankitchen

    Love it! And i have some little potatoes at home that I think I might just try using this method. I don't have duck fat at home, so maybe I'll have to spice it up with some rosemary and truffle oil.

  • norecipes

    It also works with butter or or olive oil. Love the idea of adding
    some truffle oil at the end though!

  • Rachel (S[d]OC)

    I have a big chunk of duck fat sitting in my freezer right now. I've been waffling on how to use them. I didn't like my last attempt at duck fat potatoes (that was the fault of the cook and not the duck fat) and was afraid to retry. Duck fat makes excellent fried green tomatoes. I'm thinking I should give your boil-and-smash method a try.

  • innbrooklyn

    i just happen to have some duck fat in the fridge waiting for me… i'll be picking up some potatoes this week for sure!!

  • Muneeba

    Oh lord, potatoes AND duck fat??? I'm getting hungrier by the second just looking at your pics!!!

  • joannova

    What an interesting idea and by par-boiling them first, you use a lot less oil (or duck fat) than if you were deep frying them. I'm going to try it but probably without the duck fat.

  • Janet

    These are simply amazing, wow! I love it- 3 ingredients to gourmet!

  • Eleanor Hoh

    Good to see you frying in your cast iron skillet that gives you that nice crispy, crunchy skin. Like the way they look like discs! Instead of frying, I parboil then roast the potatoes in the oven and add rosemary or whatever herbs I have on hand.

  • claudialynn

    You got me with that comment about needing only a smidge of fat. I love potatoes fried in duck fat and will try this smashing method. Good tip Marc.

  • Manggy

    OH MAN! What a day to have *only* oil and no duck fat!! (shakes fist) MARCCC!!!

  • we are never full

    i remember a few years ago when that pioneer woman blog made the food blog world go cuckoo for cocopuffs over these smashed potatoes. i didn't want to believe that they were actually that freaking amazing – so what? they are just smashed? and then i made them one night and kind of got how that soft interior and that super crispy exterior is what made everyone cuckoo – i got it.

    adding the duck fat just brings it to another level, marc. i think my head just exploded.

  • carolynjung

    Knowing you, I'm sure you DO always have rendered duck fat lying around. I make potatoes like this, but use olive oil. Obviously, I need to get with the program and start using the GOOD STUFF. I'll have to roast some ducks this weekend to get my liberal supply of fat ready. 😉

  • danielle_bonvivant

    Duck fat and potatoes are truly a match made in heaven. Love it!

  • ForensicMama

    I have had a similar recipe with olive oil & parmesan cheese. Fab.

  • Sam

    OK, these really piqued my interest. So I went out to a real meat counter (not safeway), and got some duck fat. I used smallish-medium sized yukon-golds cut in half. I cooked them the way shown, sprinkled them with a little lawrys and served some sour cream on the side.

    Best potatoes ever.

    the wife and I finished off what I as hoping to be 3-4 servings along with the rest of dinner (they never would have been as good leftover.)

    now I understand the obsession with duck fat people have.

  • lalaine

    I've tried duck fat with french fries and oh! Were they good! Can't wait to try your recipe, less fuss.

    Thnaks for sharing.

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  • Shanti

    Heaven help me! That looks so delicious and you're right! So simple! Yum!

  • deana@lostpastremembered

    Brilliant recipe and boy do I have duck fat… a cup or so in the freezer… can't wait to try it!!!

  • Foodie in Denial

    I just made these today. So delicious and easy!

  • tasteofbeirut

    What a fantastic method; I knew they used duck fat a lot in France and goose fat, but in the US, do you make your own? I wish I could buy it!

  • norecipes

    I just roast a duck once or twice a year and it usually produces enough fat
    to last at least 6 months (it keeps forever in the freezer).

  • Gail Hiley

    These ARE the perfect fried potato! Now how come I don't actually have any duck fat in the house right now. SHOOT!

  • rabbittrick

    days like these I thank god for the invention of the handy OMG. says everything with so little.

  • Grover

    Olive oil works great too with the bonus that it’s heart smart!

  • diane

    funny – not the potatoes they were yummy! it was just funny that i had these yukon pototoes that i didn’t know what to do with and some duck fat that was a gift just dying to be used…and here was the recipie! easy….and delish! i can only say that they taste better serves right away, or soon thereafter….i reheated the leftovers and they weren’t quite as good…….but great taste and great recipe……call it tapas and impress your family!!!

  • Heather

    All I can say is – thank you! Perfect first recipe to try out my newly acquired duck fat!!

  • Stuart Borken

    And I thought I was the only person to ever figure out this fantastic recipe.  Although I do add sliced garlic and shallots and dry thyme to the duck fat first then add the potatoes.  Soooo good.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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