Recipes | Sides

Bourbon Duck Fat-Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, they say. But a chance to sit down with Tom Bulleit, the founder of Bulleit bourbon?

The stuff that makes its way into every Boulevardier and Old-Fashioned I drink?

That’s a meal I’d happily pay for. Luckily, I didn’t have to.

I’m sure we should have been talking about the illustrious history of Bulleit and how Tom built the company on his great-great-granddad’s recipe.

bourbon duck fat potatoes and green beans

(It is a pretty cool tale. By the way, the characters on Deadwood drink Bulleit bourbon, and though the bottle might be anachronistic, the spirit itself is not: Tom’s great-great-grandfather Augustus developed the Bulleit bourbon recipe in the 1830s, so Dakota territory miners and shysters may well have been guzzling it back in 1876.)

But since Tom is a true Kentucky gentleman (and because we were sitting with a certain Alabama born-and-bred food writer and a gal from North Carolina by way of Mizzou), our conversation naturally turned to football.

Hey, I’ll debate the effectiveness of the Steelers’ defensive line, no matter how injury-prone, at the drop of a hat (or a drop of whiskey). But I got distracted.

Instead of a typical bread basket at our lunch, the kitchen sent out a mini cast iron cocotte filled with four piping-hot Parker House rolls, each brushed with duck fat and sprinkled with sea salt.

While the rest of the table chattered on about BCS standings and tailgate parties, my mind started to wander.

bourbon duck fat potatoes and green beans

This is where my mind went: potatoes and green beans, slicked in duck fat and Bulleit bourbon.

If you’ve never used duck fat, there’s no time like the present, and it’s not as hard to find (or as expensive) as you’d think.

Ducks are fatty little beasts—it keeps them insulated and waterproof—so there’s more than enough to go around.

A jar of graisse de canard lasts forever in the fridge, and a spoonful in your frying pan does wonderful things to boost the flavor of any ingredient you throw in with its pure and creamy slick of fat.

You won’t taste any alcohol in the finished dish here, but the bourbon and duck fat amplify the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

As an added bonus, I use bourbon barrel-aged Worcestershire sauce and bourbon-smoked pepper from Kentucky’s Bourbon Barrel Foods in this dish.

You can go ahead and use whatever you’ve got in your pantry, but if you’re a bourbon fan, you might want to dig into their inventory.

bourbon duck fat potatoes and green beans

Bourbon Duck Fat-Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Bourbon duck fat potatoes with green beans are insanely flavorful and naturally sweet, making for an unexpected side dish for a roast.


  • 1 tablespoon duck fat
  • 2 teaspoons Bulleit bourbon
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into rough 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound green beans, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • Maldon salt and bourbon-smoked pepper for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  2. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan over low heat.
  3. Whisk in the bourbon and the Worcestershire sauce until emulsified.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosemary.
  5. Toss the duck fat with the chopped potatoes and green beans in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Roast for about 1 hour, until the green beans are wilted and caramelized in spots, and the potatoes are fully tender and turning golden brown at the edges.
  8. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and bourbon-smoked pepper if desired, and serve warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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    1. Sarah, you should be able to find duck fat at any specialty market – Whole Foods, Balducci’s, Citarella, Williams-Sonoma, and Dean & Deluca all carry them here. (And Amazon, of course!) I’m not worried about you finding the bourbon.

  1. Having had the privilege to indulge in these little beasties during the height of my Hurricane-Sandy induced psychosis, I can tell your readers that duck fat and bourbon have healing qualities. Sure, a meal spent with friends in the warmth and glow of electricity and heating had something to do with the magic I felt at your dinner table. But these potatoes were something extra special, something beyond the simplicity they imply.

    People, make these. Make them tomorrow, and make them for your Thanksgiving table. They are damned fantastic.

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