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Duck lovers - how is the best way of cooking duck legs?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I´m a fan of duck!!
But it´s really hard to make the legs soft and tasty!!
I have tried baking it but it gets dry at the end even being covered for most of the time..
Yesterday I cooked them in a cassarole taking the fat out at the beginning but still after a long cooking, a lot of fat was left in our dishes... Although the sauce was tasting good..
Any duck specialist to give me a hint??

Thanks
Sir
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post #2 of 11
Three good ways:  Confit (poached in fat); Braised; or, smoked.  Anything low, slow and moist.    

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/18/10 at 9:39pm
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post #3 of 11
Duck Leg Confit with mirepoix, oranges, star anise, seasoning; covered and cooked slow at about a temp of 150deg celcius for 1 1/2 hours and left to cool in the cooking liquid if required for later use. serve with a orange and thyme jus, a slice of orange and a sprig of fresh thyme
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post #4 of 11
Braise them, I love braised duck. Thats how I first made duck, and it turned out really good.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post

Duck Leg Confit with mirepoix, oranges, star anise, seasoning; covered and cooked slow at about a temp of 150deg celcius for 1 1/2 hours and left to cool in the cooking liquid if required for later use. serve with a orange and thyme jus, a slice of orange and a sprig of fresh thyme

I don't understand the technique behind your description, but would like to. 

Are you saying you make the confit itself with the mirepoix, etc? You cook oranges in the fat?  But beyond poaching citrus in duck fat, that doesn't seem as if it could be right, because "cooking liquid" doesn't make sense in that context.   

Or, are you saying that you take a leg that's already been cooked confit, and braise it again in liquid at 300F (~150C) for 90 minutes?  That's a lot of cooking for a duck leg.  How do you keep it from overcooking and dissolving into fibrous mush?   Is there some special way you confit it to begin with?

If it's some third way, what?

At any rate the ingredient list sounds promising, and I'd like some clarification on the technique. It seems to be something with which I'm not familiar, and it's fun to learn something new.

BDL
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post




I don't understand the technique behind your description, but would like to. 

Are you saying you make the confit itself with the mirepoix, etc? You cook oranges in the fat?  But beyond poaching citrus in duck fat, that doesn't seem as if it could be right, because "cooking liquid" doesn't make sense in that context.   

Or, are you saying that you take a leg that's already been cooked confit, and braise it again in liquid at 300F (~150C) for 90 minutes?  That's a lot of cooking for a duck leg.  How do you keep it from overcooking and dissolving into fibrous mush?   Is there some special way you confit it to begin with?

If it's some third way, what?

At any rate the ingredient list sounds promising, and I'd like some clarification on the technique. It seems to be something with which I'm not familiar, and it's fun to learn something new.

BDL
 

why not add additional flavours to the confit such as orange and spices ... both flavours compliment Duck leg, and isn't cooking about adding flavour?
we're as good as our last meal.
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we're as good as our last meal.
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post #7 of 11
yum duck and orange sound good!
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by Coulis-o View Post

[W]hy not add additional flavours to the confit such as orange and spices ... both flavours compliment Duck leg, and isn't cooking about adding flavour?
 

Cooking is about many things, sometimes it's about adding flavor, sometimes it's about helping flavors shine through, and sometimes it's about ... 

Also, I'm all in favor of duck with orange -- done in a variety of ways.  Tonight for instance I plan going to make a jus informed with cherry cider and orange to  compliment a roasted pork loin.  It would go very well with duck as well.  There's always bigarade, and many other orange variations.  

Some vegetables and some spices are welcome in a duck confit, for sure.  Orange no.  With duck, "confit" means poaching entirely in fat.  Because the duck is usually also preserved in the fat, most cooks go to some lengths to keep it clear -- and that means avoiding some vegetables and some spices (especially ground).  

But citrus?  Anything too acid, and most especially any type of citrus (obviously including orange) will break down the fat and the duck will neither confit nor preserve properly.

Unless that is, you have some method I don't know about; or you're talking about some alternative preparation -- which is entirely possible.  

And I still don't get what you meant by the "cooking liquid" in your previous post. Also,  whether or not you were suggesting a long braise after the confit.  

BDL
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post #9 of 11
informed with......

Infused,
Grasshopper, infused.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 11
Seifu,

The word informed was used intentionally (and correctly)  in the following sense  :
Informed: ... [2] c.  to permeate or impregnate so as to become the characteristic quality of : ANIMATE, INSPIRE, INFUSE *these poems are informed with sincerity— Richard Eberhart* *sentimental, Protestant ethos that has always informed his writing— L.A.Fiedler*
Merrian-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, 2003 on disk ed. (Note that the capatalized words, including "INFUSE" are, more or less, synonyms.) 

More particularly I chose "informed" over "infused" because as you know in cooking, "infusion" has a special sense having to do with soaking in liquid which is not boiling, a sense I very much did not intend with the sauce at issue.

Now that I've snatched the pebble, does that mean I have to leave?

BDL
Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/21/10 at 5:03pm
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post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Uau!!

I´m really enjoying and learning just by following your discussions guys!!
Obrigada!!
(Thanks in Portuguese)

 

Sir
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