How to Make the Best Poutine Ever

Chef-Instructor Chris Arturo elevates his poutine with duck confit, homemade cheese curds and a circulated duck egg.

When it comes to poutine, you’d be hard-pressed to find a chef — or anyone, really — who doesn’t like the hefty bar snack. Hailing from Québec, poutine is a combination of French fries tossed with cheese curds and gravy, a sinfully satisfying combination curing hangovers every day. 

On the latest episode of Epicurious’ 4 Levels, Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor Chris Arturo dials up his poutine with shredded truffled fries, homemade cheese curds and a duck demi-glace, all to be topped with a circulated duck egg that’s reached fudge-like consistency. 

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While the aforementioned accoutrements are indeed indulgent, first timers needn’t be daunted: homemade cheese curds are super simple to make, by letting vegetable rennet and whole milk steep together until the curds separate from the whey. Plus, rennet — both vegetable and animal — can be found at a health food store near you. “I have cheese purveyors I get mine from,” says Chef Chris. “There’s also a website called modernistpantry.com. They have everything you could ever want regarding food-safe chemicals, rennet included.”

And if you don’t have a circulator in your kitchen pantry, not to worry — a soft-boiled egg is a fine substitute. 


Poutine with Duck Confit, Homemade Cheese Curds & Duck Demi-Glace

Serves 6



For the Fries:
  • 6 Russet potatoes, peeled and soaked in water
  • Truffle oil
  • Truffle salt
For the Gravy:
  • 20 grams duck fat
  • 20 grams all-purpose flour
  • 500 milliliters duck stock
  • 5 grams Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 grams Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Duck Confit:
  • 6 duck legs
  • 100 grams salt
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 pieces juniper berry
  • 10 pieces whole black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed
  • 6 cups duck fat
For the Cheese Curds:
  • 2 gallons whole milk
  • 100 milliliters vegetable rennet
For the Duck Egg:
  • 6 duck eggs
For Assembly: 
  • Chives, chopped
  • Sea salt


For the Fries: 
  1. Fill two fryers with canola oil; heat one to 300˚F and the other to 380˚F. Reserve.
  2. Cut potatoes into long batons. Run batons through cold water until water runs clear. Drain and dry the potatoes.
  3. Fry potatoes in first fryer set at 300˚F until potatoes bend, but don’t break. Remove from oil and dry on a sheet tray lined with paper towels and chill. 
  4. Transfer chilled fries to second fryer set at 380˚F and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and place in a bowl; toss with truffle oil and truffle salt and reserve.
For the Gravy:
  1. Melt duck fat in a saucepan set over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook until roux is brown. Whisk in stock 1/3 at a time to ensure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil and allow starch to swell and thicken and reach nappant consistency. Add Worcestershire and sriracha. Season to taste and reserve.
For the Duck Confit: 
  1. Mix together salt, sugar and garlic.
  2. Toast spices until perfumed and add to salt mixture; allow to sit for 5 minutes. 
  3. Clean duck legs of excess fat and coat in cure mix. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 
  4. Rinse duck under cold water, washing off cure. Place duck legs in sautoir and cover in duck fat; simmer until fork tender, about 3 hours. 
  5. Remove from sautoir, cool and shred meat. Reserve.
For the Cheese Curds:
  1. Heat milk and rennet in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat until separated; strain and press curds. 
  2. Let curds sit overnight in the refrigerator. 
  3. Chunk out cooled curds into desired size. 
For the Duck Eggs:
  1. Place duck eggs in immersion circulator and circulate at 64˚C for 1 hour; reserve.
For Assembly:
  1. Heat duck demi-glace. 
  2. Place fries in a large metal bowl; pour demi-glace over fries. Add cheese curds and toss. Plate fries on desired serving vessel and top with duck confit, egg, chives and sea salt. 


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