25 February 2010

Duck Fat Frittata

I started this frittata with a few tablespoons of duck fat in the enameled cast-iron frying pan. A low flame softened the fat slowly, and as it melted it turned clear and pooled on the bottom of the pan. A sliced onion came first, followed by four or five small potatoes, also thinly sliced. I let them soften in the low heat while I fished a few rabbit hearts and kidneys from the bowl of many-times-used-for-confit duck fat, memories of poaching them in the fat many months ago a fading memory. I sliced the meat pieces and scattered them around the frying pan, letting the clinging fat melt into the whole. A generous sprinkle of tarragon followed by a little thyme, and then I shook a heavy dose of black pepper over the whole thing.

I broke five fresh eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork, and then tasted the onion-potato mixture to see if any additional salt was needed. Turning the heat down very low, I poured the eggs into the pan and grated parmesan cheese over the whole thing. My eight-year old daughter and I read a reader’s theater version of Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter for twenty minutes or so while the frittata cooked, and when the whole thing was firm except for an egg-y liquid that moved just underneath a now-forming crust, I put it under the broiler for a minute or two. I let it rest briefly, but my daughter and I were hungry and no one else was home, so we each ate a pie-shaped piece of frittata along with a big salad. We speared lettuce on the tines of our forks, and had a contest to see how much lettuce we could retrieve with a single poke into the salad bowl. The frittata was delicious, but we remembered the Spanish omelette we ate at the beginning of winter at a friend’s house, on a baguette, and wished we had one. And for dessert, a bowl of applesauce with a deep dusting of Vietnamese cinnamon on top.


  1. Hello Patrick: I think we should form a "confrèrie" of duck fat fanciers in the Upper Midwest, and we could stage a pilgrimage down to Au Bon Canard in Caledonia, maybe at winter solstice time, and dance around with torches fueled with duck fat, our faces shiny from gorging on confit de canard!

    I really like your blog, the food and the writing both, and I look forward to checking out the radio show.

    Cheers~ Brett

    p.s.~ Duck Fat & Politics should be in the blog list on Heavy Table.

  2. Brett,
    Thanks for the nice message. Our blogs clearly cover similar ground - a duck fat get together sounds great!