Confit Kugel Wedges

At Vic's, formerly Hillary Sterling's New York City restaurant, she leaned on high-quality schmaltz to crisp up these kugel wedges; we opted for rich duck fat which is easier to source. Saffron-soaked raisins and a drizzle of vincotto, made from simmered grape must that's aged in oak barrels, punctuates the rich kugel with its sweet and tangy bite.

Confit Kugel Wedges
Photo: Christopher Testani
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 50 mins

Soaking golden raisins helps plump them up; they add a hit of acid here, but use them to top any dish that needs a little extra flavor.


Saffron-Soaked Golden Raisins

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 1 cup golden raisins

  • Pinch of saffron (about 15 threads)


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large fennel bulbs (about 12 ounce each), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 1 large yellow onion (about 14 ounce), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 3/4 cup duck fat or chicken fat, divided

  • 12 large eggs

  • 6 tablespoons white rice flour or finely ground matzo meal (about 2 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seeds (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons vincotto or aged balsamic vinegar

  • 1 1/2 cups store-bought or homemade chicken liver mousse

  • Fresh basil leaves


Make the Saffron-Soaked Raisins

  1. Bring all ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.

  2. Drain raisins, and discard liquid. Chill, covered, until ready to use, up to 1 week.

Make the kugel

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Shred potatoes in a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment. Place shredded potatoes on a clean towel; wring out excess liquid. Place towel with potatoes in a fine wire-mesh strainer inside a bowl; place a small skillet on potatoes to weigh down. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add fennel and onion; cook, stirring often, until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat; transfer mixture to a large heatproof bowl.

  3. Grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with 1/4 cup duck fat. Remove potatoes from towel; discard drained potato liquid in bowl. Stir potatoes into fennel mixture. Add eggs, flour, 1/4 cup raisins, salt, pepper, ground fennel seeds (if using), and 1/4 cup duck fat; stir to combine. Spread mixture in prepared cake pan; place on a rimmed baking sheet.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until top of kugel is crispy, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool in pan completely, about 2 hours.

  5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread remaining 1/4 cup duck fat in a rimmed baking sheet. Remove kugel from cake pan. Cut into 12 wedges, and rub cut sides of each kugel wedge in duck fat on baking sheet to coat. Arrange wedges in an even layer on baking sheet.

  6. Bake at 425°F until wedges are crisped and browned on cut sides, about 20 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

  7. Drizzle wedges evenly with vincotto; sprinkle with 1/4 cup raisins (reserve the remaining raisins for another use). Top each wedge with about 2 tablespoons chicken liver mousse; garnish with basil.

Related Articles