Fry Up Homemade Tortilla Chips In Duck Fat For Rich And Crispy Results

Frying tortillas at home makes for chips that are wildly superior to those bought at the store. They're warm and crackling in their crunch, just ready for the vibrant zing of fresh salsa, the richness of homemade guacamole, or a hearty dip. So how can you take fresh fried chips up another level? Give them the duck fat treatment. Treasured for its singular flavor and ability to transform the foods fried in it, duck fat is a favorite of chefs that can unlock untold potential when applied to tortilla chips.

Frying tortilla chips in duck fat can be accomplished using various cooking methods, catering to your preferences and kitchen equipment. On the stovetop, heat duck fat in a pot until shimmering, then fry corn tortillas that have been quartered until golden brown and crisp. Alternatively, the air fryer method offers a lighter twist, requiring only a light brush of duck fat before air frying for that perfect crunch. For those who prefer the oven, toss tortilla slices in melted duck fat and bake until they reach the desired level of crispiness. Once cooked in any of these methods, make sure to sprinkle the chips with a healthy dose of kosher or other large grain salt.

Duck fat, obviously, isn't as ubiquitous as, say, vegetable oil. But worry not, as it can be sourced from specialty stores or easily purchased online. Its luxurious texture and unique flavor profile add a distinctive touch to any dish, making it a versatile and sought-after ingredient for culinary enthusiasts.

Putting them to good use

Now that you have a batch of crispy tortilla chips infused with the decadence of duck fat, you may be wondering how best to make use of them. The good news is that they're not only delicious on their own, but can be a fantastic supporting player in some kicked-up riffs on Mexican favorites and beyond. These chips are not just for snacking; they serve as the perfect canvas for indulgent creations that will wow your taste buds.

Nachos are a beloved snack for a crowd or a mighty meal for one, seen on menus at Mexican restaurants and sports bars alike. For a decadent take, try duck nachos. Layer your duck fat tortilla chips with succulent shredded duck confit, creamy melted queso Oaxaca, and a vibrant, slightly-sweet fruit salsa. The juxtaposition of savory duck, gooey cheese, and the bright notes of the fruit salsa creates a symphony of flavors that dances on your palate.

For a brunch or hearty breakfast option, turn your duck fat tortilla chips into chilaquiles. Simmer the chips in a mildly-spiced salsa roja or verde, top with braised or smoked duck meat, and finish with a drizzle of crema, two sunny side up eggs, and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. It's a dish you won't duck out on.

Duck fat is a culinary game-changer for many items. With homemade tortilla chips, the richness and meaty undertones of the fat open up a world of possibilities, from inventive entrees to flavorful snacks.