Yeah, so that duck fat. I know, its sounds interesting (translate – kinda gross). I have been reading so much about it lately that I decided to go and get myself some. It gives the vegetables a totally different roasting experience and they have an overall more rich mouth feel. Its different, its good.
So, nearly every Thanksgiving dinner I have ever cooked, I have made roasted root vegetables. I grew up eating them, I love them. They are hearty and they add that pop of color to your Thanksgiving plate. The roasting process takes good-for-you but somewhat boring vegetables and make them amazing. They are rich, savory and full of flavor. My absolute favorite roasted vegetables are butternut squash and parsnips. When I was a kid, I used to call parsnips white carrots – I have no idea if they are even part of the carrot genus.
Binomial nomenclature aside, the recipe below is designed to be versatile, so go ahead and swap out/in whatever vegetables you want but make sure they are all about the same size. Different sized pieces will cook more quickly or more slowly – you want uniformity. Also, I have noticed that vegetables tend to roast a slight bit different depending where they are in the oven and also what else is in there with them. They do need quite a high heat to get going so my advice is to start checking them about every 5 -10 minutes when you get about halfway through the cooking time to ensure that perfect golden brown color.
Okay, so here we go.
Here are my cut vegetables. You will notice the long, white strips – those are the batons of parsnip. To batonnet is a French culinary term that means to cut into sticks or batons.
The magic ingredient.
I had to melt the duck fat to ensure proper coverage. Pour it over and mix it around.
After 35 minutes, roasted perfection.
They are not only good for the holidays but you can enjoy them anytime. Happy roasting friends.
Duck Fat Roasted Root Vegetables
1 small Acorn Squash, thinly sliced
1 large yam, peeled and thinly sliced into coins
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into batons
7-10 small fingerling potatoes
5 whole garlic cloves or 2 whole garlic heads
2 tablespoons duck fat, melted
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Take all of the sliced vegetables – squash, yam, parsnips, potatoes and garlic and spread them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the dried thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Take melted duck fat and pour over vegetables. Mix to ensure that all the vegetables are covered in the herbs and the fat.
Place uncovered into the oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until vegetables are soft and golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve on a warmed serving platter.