Monday, March 21, 2011

Duck Confit, one of my favorite meals

Making duck confit is not that hard but its a process that is very time consuming.  Thank goodness I have a variety of Le Crueset pots in both of my kitchens, Denver and San Miguel de Allende, because it makes the process a lot more easier.  As you might have gathered, we had duck over the weekend.
If you are going to go to all this work, I suggest you buy at least 12 duck leg and thigh pieces. First you start by trimming the excess fat off duck. In a large baking dish, lay half the duck pieces (skin side down) in the pan.  Sprinkle with sea salt (I prefer Maldon), pepper, at least 20 garlic cloves and sprigs of fresh thyme on the duck.  Top with the rest of the duck (flesh side down.  Cover and refrigerate over night.
Remove the duck from the refrigerator and brush off some of the seasoning.  In a large pot, put the trimmed duck fat, garlic and thyme in.  Lay the duck on top, skin side down.  Add olive oil to completely cover.  Bake for 8 hours in a 200' oven.
Duck should almost fall off the bone when done.
Carefully remove duck from the oil/fat liquid.  Strain the oil/fat and store in the refrigerator for another use (great for sauteing potatoes). If not using the duck immediately, I wrap each piece with "press and seal", put them in a freezer zip loc bag and freeze for future use.  And save the roasted garlic for another use!
For dinner, I served Gratin Dauphinoi (love this potato recipe from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook) and the duck confit.  I dredged the duck through seasoned flour, then into an egg wash and then dredged them in fine bread crumbs.  Then I fried them in olive oil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels before plating.  The duck meat falls of the bone.
I have also dredged the duck parts through an egg wash and then instant potatoes that I had added my own seasoning too.  This works well with fish too.
And if you have not had enough duck, try Duck Rillette with Crostini.  Take the meat from one leg and thigh piece, 1/8 cup minced onion, 1 tablespoon minced parsley, a healthy dash of brandy, 3 tablespoons butter (room temp), 1 tablespoon reserved oil/fat and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix in a Cuisinart (just a few pulses) or with your mixer with the dough hook.  You do not want to turn it into mushy paste.  Serve it in a ramekin along with the crostini.
If  not serving immediately, cover the duck rillette with a layer of the reserved oil/fat.  It will keep in the refrigerator for one week.

To make the crostini:  cut a baguette about 1/4" thick.  Brush one side with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes at 350' (check often so they do not burn).  They are done when the center of the bread piece is firm to the touch. Remove from oven and rub each crostini with a garlic clove.

Bon Appetit!

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