Every month, Pickens purchases a free-range duck from Restaurant Depot for approximately $15. Pickens says she gets about three servings of meat and a gallon of soup from the carcass. She renders the duck fat, which becomes her cooking oil, her baking fat, her toast spread for the month, the only fat in her household. Just the economics here are impressive.
In terms of health Pickens is on to something. In a 10-year study by the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Lyons, France, Dr. Serge Reynaud determined that men in the Gascon region of France, where the streets are almost paved in foie gras, eat twice as much duck as other Frenchmen and 50 times more than Americans, and yet the incidence of heart attacks in Gascon men was half that of other French men and a quarter that of American men, at least in 1991 when the famous “French Paradox” was reported in the New York Times.
According to every source I Googled, the nutritional make-up of duck fat is much closer to olive oil than butter, but even higher in the essential omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid than olive oil.
Here’s Picken’s recipe for “Finnan Sasquatch” Gluten-Free Pizza, the kind of kitchen serendipity born in the gluten-free household of a fisherman. For those of you interested in an interesting gluten-free crust, take this and run with it. Use it as a foundation for all kinds of quiche-like combinations. If you’re simply in need of a great Finnan Haddie-like recipe, Finnan Sasquatch rules. Make the extra errand stop for Sasquatch smoked fish at The Cave, Willowrest or Vidalia’s.
Jen Pickens’ Gluten-Free Finnan Sasquatch Pizza
makes 2 pizzas
1 recipe Picken’s Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
2 cups seasoned mashed potatoes