A warming winter recipe – Duck Confit
I held a terrific Goût et Voyage cooking class/dinner party this past Saturday night. My clients have a beautiful home and were gracious hosts. Our meal started with tapenade noire on baguette slices and Champagne. The salad featured wine poached pears, endive, gorgonzola and walnuts with a pear vinaigrette. The main course starred duck confit accompanied by potato celery root puree and glazed baby carrots. A delicious Chevalier d’Anthelme Côtes du Rhône accompanied the entrée. We closed out the meal with a light fruit tart for dessert.
Duck confit is such a wonderful dinner party entree. It can (and should!) be prepared 2-3 days in advance. The keys to successful duck confit are good quality duck legs (order yours from a reputable butcher) and completely submerging the legs in duck fat for their long, slow bake in the oven.
- 6 Duck legs
- Kosher salt
- 9 cloves garlic peeled
- 6 large Bay Leaves
- 2-3 tubs Duck fat D’Artagnan is a readily available US source
- Sprinkle duck legs with 2 TBS kosher salt.
- Sprinkle the bottom of a glass pan with 1 TBS cracked pepper corns. Lay 3 duck legs skin side down.
- Place 3 garlic cloves and 2 bay leaves on each duck leg.
- Lay the other 3 duck legs on top of the first three, sandwich style.
- Tightly wrap the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse each duck leg under cool water to remove most of the salt.
- Reserve the garlic and bay leaves.
- Place the garlic, bay leaves and 1 tablespoon cracked pepper corns on the bottom of a pan just large enough to hold the duck legs in one layer.
- Lay the duck legs skin-side up on top of the aromatics.
- In a glass bowl, heat the duck fat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high until the fat has melted. Be sure to cover the bowl to avoid splatters!
- Pour the melted duck fat over the duck legs, submerging the duck legs completely, and place in the pre-heated oven.
- Cook the duck legs for 8-10 hours. To serve immediately, carefully remove the duck legs from the fat and place on a broiler rack/pan.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes until skin is crisp. The duck legs may be kept refrigerated, in the fat, for up 5 days.
- To serve, re-heat the duck legs for 1 hour in a 225F oven and proceed as above to crisp skin.