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Confit du canard for Athenaeus

8271 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  isa
There many ways to prepare "confit" But I believe technique should be followed in the key stages to prepare this wonderful dish and One of my ten favorites.

First thing ofcourse is you need a duck and you need duck fat:)
In the preparation of confit two very early ways of preserving foods come together,Salting and cooking it fat and sealing in fat.
I use ducks that are breed for there livers because I think the meat stands up better to the cure,I use the legs and thighs only and reserve the breast for magret.
you may need to prepare a few ducks before you get enough fat to do the confit,But once you have enought fat,cover the fat and skin slivers with water add acouple cloves,a bay leaf a pinch of dry thyme and bring to a boil,simmer until the fat has completly rendered and the water has totaly evaporated.remove the solids and salt the crackling and make an omlette to hold you over.strain fat and reserve.
For the curing use 1/3 oz kosher salt per pound of meat,marinate 36 hours and be sure the meat is evenly salted,when you are ready to cook the confit drain any blood that has setteled in the pan,and blot off any excess salt on the meat. I bake instead of boil my confit and I also use a spice mixture to capture the flavores of the spice trade that went through France.
1 ts each, ground cumin,coriander and cinnamen
3/4 ts ground allspice
1/4 ts ground cloves
1/2 ts cardomen
1/2 ts ground ginger
1/2 ts ground nutmeg
1 crumbled bay leaf
3/4 ts powderd thyme
36 (or more)peeled garlic cloves :)

season your duck with these spices and let cure over night and pat dry,place the duck in a oven proof cassorole cover with fat (melted not hot) sumerge the garlic cloves in the fat and start it in a "cold" oven then gradually raise the temp to 325 degrees if you are not in a rush let it cook at 275 degrees. this will take some time to cook 3 hours or more,BTW the garlic when done is amazing in salads. When done place the duck in a "very clean"bain marie cover with fat and refrig. It's best to wait 4 or 5 weeks to let the flavors develope. when you are ready to enjoy the fruits of your labor you will net to melt the fat and then pop the duck in the oven for about 20 minutes on 350 degrees "DO NOT THROUGH AWAY THE FAT" It can be used over and over again and deveopes incredible flavor.
Enjoy Athenaeus
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Duck Confit is one of my top 3 favorite foods in the world. (The other 2 are Confit de Canard and Confit D'Canard"):bounce:
I must admit however that I am an old school believer in so far as the so called classic recipe, that being:

For 4 Duck legs.
4 Duck legs from large ducks (8-9 lbs are good size wise)
1/2 cup rock salt or Kosher if necessary.
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
12 large, very leafy Thyme Sprigs
5 cups rendered duck fat or pork lard (not regular pork fat, but lard) Vegetable oil if absolutely necessary
Trim the duck legs and place in a bowl with the salt. Rub the salt into the legs thoroughly. Press it in to coat evenly.
Place on a large sheetpan or hotel pan covered with parchment.
Sprinkle any leftover salt on legs. Sprinkle peppercorns over and cover with Thyme sprigs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Some people weight it down. This is a personal preference I believe. Personally I weight them.
The next day brush off the legs and wipe clean with a paper towel. Submerge the legs gently into a deep (4 qt.) saucepan, Heat the fat to 220-230 degrees F. cook slowly for about 1-3/4 to 2 hours or until the meat starts to draw away from the bone. Make sure the temp. never gets above 230F. Remove from the heat and let cool 1 hour. If not using right away, place legs in a glass dish and slowly cover with the fat. Make sure all pieces are covered. The confit can stay this way 2-3 weeks. The fat will keep the pieces good indefinately but the top layers can go rancid. If not using all of them, take a piece out and gently rewarm the fat slightly to recover the legs.
I like to crisp the legs on a hot pan and eat with fried potatoes and truffles or in a salad with a ground nut vinaigrette.
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