Con Feet de Duck

8 01 2010

 
After a bit of light reading in Larousse, I decided I didn’t need to look at any other recipes for duck confit. It appears from their description that it’s nearly impossible to fuck up, given you have a vat of duck fat and some duck. I did.

According to Harold McGee, confit is an ancient technique for preserving meat developed in central Asia and western Europe – at most basic it’s just cooking something in its own fat and then storing it in that fat. Cook in fat and then leave in the fat until it’s time to eat. And, it really is that easy. Typically for a French confit the meat is salted for a day or so before cooking and then simmered slow and low for several hours. It’s also typically stored for many months in a cool place and over time the meat develops a lot of complex flavors that are characteristic of a true confit. I don’t think my two duck legs will last months in the cellar… maybe a couple weeks until I have a good excuse to use them. If this batch turns out decent maybe I’ll make a bigger batch to toss in the cellar to age with my beer.

 
First step – salt the duck legs. I didn’t measure, I just threw some salt and a little bit of pepper in there until I had a good coating all over the meat. Then they have to sit for a day or so.

 

Then after the salted legs sat for 24 hours, I brushed off what I could and dried them with a paper towel. Tossed a few cloves of garlic in a pyrex baking dish, melted down my tub of duck fat and poured it over the meat. (The pyrex measuring cup in the pan is just to take up space and raise the level of the fat because I didn’t have enough to totally submerge the meat)

 

Into the oven for a little over two hours at around 275F and out of the bubbling cauldron comes this:

 
I realized a little too late that my oven was a little too hot but I’m pretty sure it won’t be an issue… duck + hot duck fat = good. It was really hard for me not to eat both of these right now. The browned, crisping skin also got me thinking… slow-fried chicken confit could be on the menu soon.

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One response

8 01 2010
Morta Di Fame

Hi! Matt Farrell sent me to your food blog. I just made confit for the first time and just posted a blog about it today, too! Fun Knee! It was freaking awesome!!! Will subscribe. My FB is mortadifame.blogspot.com

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