Most Viewed Stories
Duck confit requires some preparation
A holiday confit de canard recipe requires few steps before you get the crusty, honey-glazed duck end result. A brief insight into the ancient confit technique reveals to us that in the old days, most meat, poultry or fish were preserved through smoking, air drying, the use of salt or fat. Most of these food preservation rituals were developed throughout the Mediterranean region as a vital necessity to survive during the winter months.
Duck legs are heavily rubbed with salt and fine herbs, covered and refrigerated for 24 hours. The next step is to brush off the salt and herbs and lightly poke the skin, without getting into the meat, to facilitate the gradual release of fat. Slow cook the duck, covered with a lid or aluminum foil, in the oven for up to two hours.
It is recommended to start the roasting cycle with a small quantity of fat that you can acquire from any specialty store.
At Café Collage, we will serve this dish this month and for our New Year's Eve five-course dinner.
1 cup duck fat
6 duck legs (ask for Muscovy hens; the drakes are quite large)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 cup herbs de Provence
1⁄2 cup local blackberry honey
Rub some of the duck fat on the bottom and sides of a baking dish that is deep enough to contain all of the fat that will be released during roasting. Place the duck legs, brushed with the salt, pepper and herbs, in the dish. Set the oven to 300 degrees and bake, covered with a lid or aluminum foil, for two hours.
Make sure the duck is not overcooked. Top the duck legs with the honey and bake for 15 minutes, uncovered, at 450 degrees. Remove the legs from the oven once they get dark brown.
If you wish to store the duck legs for later use, before glazing them with the honey, transfer the cooled legs to a canning jar or other container. Pour in the fat until the legs are completely covered.
A sealed jar of duck confit can be refrigerated up to three months. The fat acts as both a seal and a preservative.
Fat from the confit may be used in many ways, such as to sauté Brussels sprouts or roasted potatoes.
Traditionally, duck confit is served with French lentils and cherry sauce. For the holidays, you might prefer to serve it with cranberry-port sauce and mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes.