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duck breast confit? beef confit?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried confit-ing duck breast. There doesn't seem to be any recipe on the internet so I'm guessing maybe it's not a good idea? But since I'm not a fan of the more common preperations - sear it on a pan and finish in the oven, I'm wondering if there is another way to cook it.

Also, how about beef confit? Say, instead of braising short rib in veal stock, would it work if I cooked it in beef fat?

Thanks, in advance.

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post #2 of 25
Confiting typically implies cooking the meat thoroughly, so it would be better suited for parts of the animal that are better stewed. However, that doesn't mean you can't cook a duck breast (or any sort of meat) in its own fat to any doneness. In the end, a duck breast is usually served with skin and if you want to cook it you will need a method that makes the skin part more palatable.

You can also use confit meat to fill anything, from terrines or rillettes to spring rolls, only in those preparations the leg wouldn't be served whole like in the traditional serving method.

I think "confiting" breast meat until medium rare in the centre will yield results similar to sous vide cooking the same piece of meat.
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 25
Confit is a tradition that has as much to do with preservation as slow cooking in animal fat. You can absolutely make a confit with duck breast, beef or just about anything. Whether or not there are better uses for a particular piece of meat is a different question, and one you're best suited to answer. In other words, try it and let us know.

I disagree with blueicus only to the extent that since confit includes some preservation as part of the flavor building process, I'm not sure I would call meat slow cooket in fat confit unless it had been cooled, congealed, sealed and held for at least an intermediate period. The distinction is purely linguistic, otherwise I agree entirely with the substance.

Hope this helps,
BDL
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post #4 of 25
While I would agree with that BDL, most restaurants don't have the money, time or place to "store" confit for months on end before serving. Most often it starts seeing use the day after it is made, or sometimes, the day of. I do have to agree with many of the "french" chefs I have worked with when they say that confit doesn't start tasting really good until after it has sat for a month or more, covered in fat.
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post #5 of 25
You're all right, confit is a general French word related to a relatively moist method of preservation (either with respect to fruit or meat), so I guess you can call it fat poaching duck breast if you're not going to cook it all the way and store it for a long time. However, if anybody has a few duck breasts to spare and some duck fat I would love to hear if the method yields good results.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 25
in regards to Confit beef, ive never done it,
but i have done confit Pork and Lamb, many times...
Just used Lamb or Pork shoulder (Thats the australian name for the cuts), cut it into apropriate size pieces, and held it together with butchers twine, and cooked it as per any other confit...

Also, i have ordered confit fillet of salmon which was nice... but not as good as pan seared.. or grilled...
post #7 of 25
Confit pork is a common dish in various parts of France... either as a base for rillettes or just eaten as is.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #8 of 25
potted meat, cheese or shrimp differs from confit how?
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post #9 of 25
Confit of salmon fillet. That sounds interesting.

How was it utilized-as a fillet or a crumbled filler?
post #10 of 25
Generally for duck we use legs for confiting. Just salt 'em, let them rest overnight, then low & slow. That nice crispy skin that is left when you render out the fat makes a nice light snack. :chef:
post #11 of 25

Cooked in Its Own Fat

Confit also generally implies that the product to be preserved is slowly cooked in its own fat. By that logic there is no true tomato or onion confit and the same would hold true for cheese and shrimp. Potted meat doesn't have to be cooked strictly in fat, just covered with layer of fat to keep the air out. Not really confit by my definition, rillettes instead , but delicious just the same.
post #12 of 25

I also haven't found a recipe specifically for duck breast, but I thought I'd mention that magret (breast) confit is found pretty commonly in France, at least around the Bordeaux region.  The duck there was generally fantastic, and I enjoyed the magret several times.

post #13 of 25

I see no reason why one couldn't confit or "fat poach" a duck breast.  I would absolutely remove the skin and make cracklings out of it first to later be served with said duck breast.  The only draw back is that if you truly confit the breast it will have to be fully cooked and my not be cost effective.  If one has enough rendered duck fat and an immersion circulator you could potentially fat poach the breast to order and still keep it a nice med rare-medium (depending on preference).  Either way remove the skin.

post #14 of 25

80+ year old Yvonne Taule, originally from Sarlat-le-Canada, in the Dordogne, is the last surviving member of the storied French Catskills culinary community, which began, if I'm not mistaken, with Pierre Franey's arrival in 1945.

Yvonne sells confit of duck breast ~ and a remarkable array of other traditional French dishes ~ out of her kitchen in Phoenicia, New York.

If you mail her (she doesn't have email) 6365 Rt 28, Phoenicia, NY 12464, I'll bet she'll be happy to give you the recipe.

She says she's soon coming out with a cookbook, Home Cooking Secrets from Grandmere Yvonne, but I have no idea of when.

I took this photo in November 2010

Yvonne's Pano 3.jpg

post #15 of 25

The word or term Confit has been so misused it's pathetic. In the old hotels the poultry or meat was cooked in its own fat. Today with the cutesy menu terms that are used its Tomato Confit,m Asparagus Confit ? How can you cook these items in their own fat?? There is no such thing, people figure the more expressive words on a menu, the more they can charge.

Chef EdB
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      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #16 of 25


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

The word or term Confit has been so misused it's pathetic. In the old hotels the poultry or meat was cooked in its own fat. Today with the cutesy menu terms that are used its Tomato Confit,m Asparagus Confit ? How can you cook these items in their own fat?? There is no such thing, people figure the more expressive words on a menu, the more they can charge.


Amen Chef, you took the words right out of my mouth.

 

Confit is the present tense conjugation of the French irregular verb confire which means 'to preserve.'  Food was cooked in its own fat perhaps with some added duck or goose fat that the cook had reserved.  The whole she-bang was then put up in crockery with a congealed fat seal (the cooking fat and rendered fat) that preserved the food.  One cannot rush confit.  There is no such thing as confit prepared on the line, prepared in a day, prepared in the morning and served during "the rush," etc.  It has to sit, and mellow, and absorb, and all the rest.  It takes a minimum of days, not hours.

 

Here you go, as good a no nonsense and traditional protocol as I've seen:

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Duck-Confit-102313


Edited by CStanford - 12/15/10 at 8:22am
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chef33 View Post

Confit of salmon fillet. That sounds interesting.

How was it utilized-as a fillet or a crumbled filler?


Here in Norway Im just to seasoning the fish, and then cover it with oil before I put it into the oven giving it about 15 minutes in 45 degrees. Quite some time since it was done last time, so you might want to experiment. Its not a proper confit like the confit de canard, but its probably the closest thing.

Served it as a starter.

What you should do is try it sous vide.

I might have gotten your question wrong, but this is what I have to offer.

post #18 of 25

I just saw a cooking show where Harrison Fords son who is a very good chef made a whole suckling pig confit with goose fat.  It looked marvelous.  Anthony Bourdain had it on one of his show.  I liked it and it was done the traditional way.  Slow and steady.  Real nice.

 

Chagal

post #19 of 25

I will be trying out a confit of breast in my restaurant in the next couple of days. I will post the outcome and and method I followed.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueicus View Post

confit is a general French word related to a relatively moist method of preservation


Technically speaking, when you use fat to cook/preserve it is dry, as there is no water in fat.

 

Also, true confit has to be at least lightly cured, and then slow cooked in its own fat. Not fat from a different animal.

 

As a big fan of both duck breast and duck confit (there is absolutely nothing better in this world than cassoulet), I would avoid confiting the breast solely on the basis that there are so many better ways of preparing the breast. But since we are playing around, why not cure and smoke the breast first (like margret de canard), then do the confit.

post #21 of 25

I make Confit regularly from duck legs its a very time consuming process done correctly and it must be aged in the fat to achieve a real confit flavour, I find 3 weeks about enough in a fridge

post #22 of 25

I think duck breasts are great pan roasted to get that crispy skin but a nice medium.

 

Confit is definitely the way to go for legs, that being said. I think if you wanted to keep with the same "spirit" of old school preserving. Get some instacure and robocoupe that with your regular salt and herbs and press it to preserve it more in the fashion of bacon. Preserved foods, whether it be confit, smoked, dried, or any other method, a little goes a long way. Like eating 4oz of pork rillette - ew.

 

If you really wanted to go crazy with it. Pound the breast out and roll it pancetta style, tie it and let it cure like that. 

post #23 of 25

i was just given 6 duck breast,doing to smoke 4 to render the fat, yum smoked duck fat is anything better.well back to what i was talking about. i will let u know how it turns out

post #24 of 25

sl

post #25 of 25

Last year i watched a episode of rick stein in spain where they went hunting for partridges which they put the birds once plucked into jars.

then add a wine glass of vinegar,a bay leaf,peppercorns,a clove of garlic and topped up with olive oil.Then the jars were sealed and simmered for around a hour in water.

Now if i can remember how i did duck was the same as the partridge but it was only the raw breast of the duck and it was put in a roast pan half filled with hot water and cooked it for half an hour at 150c.Then take out the jars of the water and let the jars cool on the bench .You can keep the jars in the pantree and use when needed

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