I made that!

A Duck!

Posted in I Like Salt Too by brandi on June 29, 2010

We all have our lists of things to be done in life, mine just happens to involve a lot of food. I’ve been wanting to confit my own duck legs since I first tasted it in Scotland (I know, unlikely location) 10 years ago. I knew it was relatively easy, I had several recipes and I had watched other chefs do it at work. I just never seemed to remember to get some duck meat for myself. While at the farmer’s market a few weekends ago I saw a sign advertising ducks for sale and well, all signs pointed to me hunting for copious amounts of duck fat. Luckily a chef friend who regularly confits keeps the fat around and offered it on loan. And now I had no excuses. So I began the meaty journey that is duck confit.

First step: Seasoning the duck and letting it soak up the flavor for a day or two.

Then the fun begins. I rinsed off the seasonings and placed the legs in a container large enough to fit them comfortably. Then I covered them in that glorious duck fat. I brought them to a simmer on the stove and then popped them in the oven to poach for 6 hours. Let me just say that there are few things better than spending the day bathing in the smell of duck. I was worried at first that after a few hours I would be turned off, but no, it only made me want to tear into that meat more.

Once the ducks were cooked (they fall to the bottom of the dish when done), I took them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Some of them I was using for dinner that night while the rest were going to be stored in the fridge for future use.

And they were magnificent. I braised them with lentils and bacon for friends and there wasn’t a drop left. I think I’m gonna be making this quite often.

DUCK CONFIT RECIPE (Michael Ruhlman):

6 duck legs

3 TBSP salt

4 whole cloves

8 black peppercorns

3 garlic cloves, sliced

3 bay leaves, halved

8 cups duck fat, enough to cover duck legs before cooking

– Sprinkle ducks with salt and place in a dutch oven or deep pan. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the peppercorns and clove and scatter over the duck along with the sliced garlic. Press a halved bay leaf onto each duck leg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

– Rinse duck under cold water to wipe off seasonings. Pat dry and place back in dutch oven.

– Preheat oven to 180°F. Pour duck fat into dish, completely covering duck. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Place, uncovered, in the oven and cook for 6 hours, until the duck is tender and has settled on the bottom of the pan.

– Remove from the oven and cool completely. Gently transfer duck legs to a dish for storage. Cover the duck with the fat until completely submerged. Seal with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to one month.

– When ready to serve, remove duck legs from the fat (this will be much easier if you first warm up the fat). Place skin-side down on hot skillet and let skin crisp on medium heat until golden brown. Turn duck over to brown bottom and to warm meat through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve crisped duck confit immediately.

BRAISED DUCK WITH LENTILS

8oz bacon, chopped

6 duck confit legs

1 onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups red wine

6 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups french green lentils

1 TBSP tomato paste

4 sprigs thyme

salt and pepper to taste

– Cook bacon over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Remove from pot and place on paper towel. Remove all but 2 TBSP of the bacon fat.

– Sear the duck legs until the skin crisps and browns. Remove from pot and set aside.

– Cook onions and carrots in the bacon fat (add more if necessary) over medium heat until starting to become clear. Add garlic and cook on minute longer. Add the red wine and simmer over medium high heat until reduced by half.

– Add the stock, lentils, tomato paste and thyme and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Stir in the cooked bacon and nestle in the seared duck legs. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours. The meat should be very tender. You could also cover it and bake it in a 325 degree oven for the same amount of time.

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2 Responses

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  1. Liisi said, on July 1, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Wow, this looks delicious. I’m more of a baking girl, but this recipe got me excited! Could you please shortly describe how you added the bacon and lentils? Did you cook the lentils first? Thanks, I’m most definitely going to try to make this:)

  2. cafeinc said, on July 1, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    That pot of lentils and duck confit is food porn at its finest! I’ve always loved duck but rarely make it at home. Thanks for the idea, it really looks incredible.


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