In some ways this is a duck-flavored take on the old diner classic gravy fries. There are also parts of Canada where they add cheese curds to French fries soaked in brown gravy to make a dish called poutine. This recipe creates a paleo version of a duck poutine by substituting white potatoes with sweet potatoes and completely eliminating the ubiquitous cheese curds.
This recipe calls for sweet potato fries deep fried in duck fat. However if you would prefer baked sweet potato fries you can find the recipe in my book “Paleo for Real People.” For the duck meat in the gravy simply shred the meat from 2 confit duck legs.
Since this dish has two different elements coming together at the same time you will need to either be fast or recruit a partner.
A French fry cutter costs about Twenty dollars and is much faster than cutting the potatoes by hand. For frying you can use a Fry Daddy deep fryer.
Note: There is a lot of heat energy in a deep fryer, please take all the intelligent precautions when deep frying. This should include a fire extinguisher close at hand.
Small work bowl
French fry cutter
Heavy duty tinfoil
Large pie plate
Spider strainer or tongs
2 large sweet potatoes
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
Shredded meat from 2 confit duck legs
½ of a medium red onion, julienne cut
1 cup of chopped carrots
1 cup of chopped celery
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon of ground thyme
2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch
¼ cup of water (reserved)
Here is how to make a Duck Poutine
Step 1: Place the appropriate amount of duck fat for your deep fryer in a medium sauce pot over low heat. Allow the fat to melt down into a liquid. Then slowly pour it into the deep fryer. Turn the deep fryer on and allow the fat to come up to 375 F.
Step 2: Add the carrots to the sauce pot and sweat them for 3 to 5 minutes until they take on a little color. The residual duck fat in the pot should be enough to keep them from sticking.
Step 3: Add the celery and onions to the sauce pot along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Step 4: Once the onions start to take on a little color, add the clove of minced garlic and the shredded duck meat. Toss for 1 minute.
Step 5: Add the chicken stock and thyme. Allow the gravy to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 7 or 8 minutes. During this time you can prepare the sweet potato fries.
Step 6: Wash the sweet potatoes. Then pass them through the fry cutter.
Step 7: Slowly add the sweet potato fries to the deep fryer. Fry them for 6 to 7 minutes or until you can see the edges of the fries taking on a medium brown color.
Step 8: Add a quarter cup of water to a small work bowl. Use a fork to stir in the arrowroot starch. Once it comes together, add the slurry to the pot of duck gravy. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes or until it thickens to the consistency of a medium gravy.
Step 9: By this point the fries should be done. Use a tongs or a spider strainer to remove them from the oil. Place them on a rack lined with paper towels. Pat them with another paper towel to remove any excess fat. If the fries are a little ahead of the duck gravy, lay a sheet of tinfoil over them to help hold in the heat.
Step 10: Sprinkle the salt and smoked paprika over the fries. Then mound them directly onto each diner’s plate.
Step 11: Ladle the duck gravy over the mound of fries.
It’s important to note that the arrowroot starch won’t hold over its thickness in the refrigerator. So there is no sense in holding back on the gravy. Any leftovers will become more of a duck stew the next day.
This is the sort of dish you eat with a fork as a standalone entrée. If you wanted to have something on the side, I would go with something bright and acidic to help counter balance the heaviness of the dish. A simple kale salad with mushrooms, dressed with balsamic vinaigrette would be a nice companion for this dish.