Duck Fat Latkes {with sour cream & pumpkin butter}


Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap this year- providing the perfect excuse to make these delicious and decadent latkes, whatever your religious inclination may be. Duck fat, though not traditional, gives these potato pancakes an irresistible golden brown crust, and provides another layer of flavor. For the health conscious, duck fat actually has less saturated fat than butter, and lowers your cholesterol with its high levels of healthy mono-unsaturated fat. Though we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking this dish is healthy, it’s definitely worthy of a holiday splurge. I made these this past weekend at a William Sonoma  for Thanksgiving demo, and they were definitely a hit, served with sour cream, fresh chives, and a dollop of pumpkin butter for a Thanksgiving twist.


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 large russet or Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1⁄2 lbs.), peeled (keep them in water until ready to use, or they’ll oxidize)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons plain matzo meal
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Duck fat for frying
  • Sour cream, chives, pumpkin butter, applesauce, smoked salmon, caviar, and whatever else you might like, to serve


  1. Working over a bowl topped with a fine strainer, grate the onion and the potatoes. Press out as much liquid as you can, and discard it.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the potato onion mixture, salt, pepper, matzo meal, and eggs, making sure everything is well combined.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt a tablespoon or two of the duck fat until it sizzles when you add a bit of the latke mixture.
  4. Using a tablespoon, portion out the latkes, keeping them round and even.
  5. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until both sides are golden brown.
  6. Continue, working in batches, adding more fat, until all the latkes are cooked. You can keep them warm in the oven, or serve them as they come out of the pan.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Sour cream, applesauce, and chives
  • Sour cream, pumpkin butter, and chopped pecans
  • Sour cream, smoked salmon, and caviar
  • Creme fraiche, fig jam, and black pepper
  • Chipotle sour cream {just mix in some adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers- to taste}
  • Sriracha creme fraiche {just mix in some sriracha to taste}
  • Goat cheese, a slice of pear, and a drizzle of honey
  • Sour cream, horseradish, and cooked shrimp


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