Sunday, March 1, 2009

Duck Confit: How To

Duck confit is a process, like anything good it takes time, care and a lot of love.
Confit means braising in its own fat.
I prepared duck confit for my wonderful boyfriend. We love eating it at the Modern (NYC), as well as Balthazar, even Egg (Brooklyn) has a pretty swanky southern version. I paired mine with a blood orange sauce, a simple arugula salad with blood oranges and pommes lyonnaise (a thinly sliced potato cake). But it can be eaten a number of ways.
Duck confit was a way to preserve the duck during the winter. After being braised in its own fat, it is stored in a cold place. It lightly ferments giving it a more complex flavor, kind of like cheese. The duck leg can be taken out of the fat and reheated, pair it with a cabbage, chestnut and walnut salad for a winter meal, or serve it over mushroom risotto to complement the richness. Any way you serve it, you will sure enjoy the benefits of your very own duck confit.

The duck confit process is a long one, but not unattainable for the home cook.

1. Remove the thigh bone from the duck legs, but keep in the bone for the drumstick. Trim off excess fat.
2. Make a rub of salt, shallots, thyme and parsley in a food processor. Liberally rub all over the duck legs. Places in a colander or perforated pan with a pan or bowl underneath. Place a weight on top of the duck legs. This is to draw out excess moisture.
3. Put in the fridge overnight.

1. Scrape off the rub and heat a lot of duck fat into a large rondeau.
2. Add bay leafs, thyme and black peppercorns. Just a decent sprinkling of all.
3. Place duck legs in the fat and place a plate on top.
4. Put in a 300-degree oven. They will probably take 3 hours. They will be tender and delicate.
5. Store the duck legs in their own fat and refrigerate. The more they sit, the more they ferment.
6. When you are ready, carefully lift the duck out of the fat and place on a rack over a sheet tray. Bake at 400 until skin is crispy and delicious.
7. Serve and enjoy the duck of your labor!!!

Where to buy duck legs ( make sure they are Moulard):

  • D’Artagnan :
  • Citerella sells Hudson Valley Foie Gras
  • And check out the Farmer's Market in Union Square for other local purveyors.

I would like to apologize for not posting in a while. I got addicted to a TV show, “Friday Night Lights.” Don’t start you will be addicted…it will suck you in and consume endless hours. But I am back….and ready to blog!!!


Elra said...

I have been meaning to make duck confit for a while, thanks for the recipe. It helps.

Heather said...

yum - that looks amazingly delicious! i love the blood orange sauce. decadent things are often served best with simple accompaniments. the arugula sounds perfect :)

Anonymous said...

Hey that's really cool! I'm always happy to see people make their own duck confit at home. It's a labor of love but so rewarding. The blood orange sauce your served with it sounds really interesting. Very nice!

Throw away your television before it's too late! :-)

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I've been trying to convince myself to make some duck confit (Lon loves it!), but I've been lazy. Can I just have some of yours? It looks fantastic!

MrOrph said...

Great Abby. I have been meaning to try this process, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. How much fat did you use?

You know, the season of FNL that you are watching now, we got to see it on DirectTV's channel 101 already. They aired all of season 3 (the season you are now watching) commercial free throughout November, December, and part of January. You are watching a really good season. I won't spoil it for you.

Manger La Ville said...

That is the tricky part. You do need a good amount of fat. I used a little less than 1 quart. But with the extra can make duck fat fries (SOOO GOOD!!). You probably need to ask your butcher or contact the purveyor.
Mr. Orph: Glad to have a FNL fan!!!

Vera said...

The labor of love! I can easily imagine how wonderful it tasted!

Tartelette said...

Duck confit is so rewarding to make....I bet it was a wonderful dinner!

Lori Lynn said...

I have never done this, but adore duck. I want to thank you for sharing the process. Sounds very doable.
P.S. Looks delicious.

Sreddy Yen said...

Hey...I came across your blog through FoodMayhem. The duck confit looks extremely mouth-watering!


Kevin said...

Looks good! I have been wanting to try cooking duck.

Sophie said...

Your suck confit looks good!!! That means a lot of work!!! Well done!!

Manger La Ville said...

Sohpie: I think you meant "duck"...

megan (brooklyn farmhouse) said...

Beautiful confit!

Dee said...

Very cool! The blood orange sauce sounds like a perfect pairing too.