What is duck confit ? I heard it all the time. Never tasted it though. However, I know that a plate of one duck confit doesn’t come cheap.
So, here’s what I learned about Confit from both Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles cookbook and Michael Symon’s Live To Cook cookbook. Confit is the easiest way to preserve meat at home. Typically meat that is used for confit are duck, goose, or pork. The meat is briefly cured with salt and seasoning, cooked very gently for hours and hours, submerged in its own fat-and then cooled and chilled in the fat. The meat can then be reheated and the skin crisped for the most deeply seasoned, soul-satisfying, succulent morsels YOU HAVE EVER TASTED!!!!
Do you know that duck fat is so very flavorful ? That’s why duck confit is so yummy because of all those duck fat. You can use olive oil or lard, however, solid fat (like duck fat) works as a more efficient preservative.
Perhaps the next question is..where to get the duck fat ? Well, I actually rendered my own duck fat from the duck’s skin. The duck fat can be found in gourmet stores, online, and at Whole Foods store. I can tell you though, this dish is not something that I will do often. It’s super delicious, however, yeah…I know what duck fat is. Saturated fat and we all know too much of saturated fat can’t be too good for ya! So, once in a while, it’s okay to splurge. Besides, this dish takes time to prepare, so that’s a good thing because it’s not something I’d do often either lol!
I used the ingredients for the duck confit from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles cookbook, but in this recipe, I included Michael Symon’s duck confit cooking method, because I feel that his actually resulted in a far more tender duck confit 😉 So, this recipe combines techniques from both culinary giants.
- 4 duck legs
- Sea salt
- 2 cups of duck fat melted
- Black pepper
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 garlic clove
- Rinse the duck legs and pat dry. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag big enough to accomodate 4 duck legs
- Mix together the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and garlic clove. Coat the legs all over with the mixture. Close the bag and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours (I suggest 48 hours), flipping it once a day
- Preheat the oven to 200 F
- Render the duck fat in the saucepan until clear over low to medium heat (the fat actually melts pretty fast once it comes to contact with a heat). Remove the legs from the bag. Place in a Dutch oven and cover with the melted duck fat. Put the pot in the oven and cook for 8 to 10 hours. Remove from the oven and allow the duck to cool in the fat. Refrigerate in the fat until ready to use, at least 1 month
- Dig out some cold duck fat from the confit you have prepare onto a large pan and melt it over medium heat. When fat is hot enough, place the duck legs on the pan (skin side down) and brown until the skin is golden brown and crisp
- Serve over green salad or whatever salad of your choice. I had mine with <tomato salad or you can eat it on its own.