I am confident that there is nothing on this earth more pleasing to the palate than duck fat, and I give Duck Confit five star status among the most delectable dishes.
Last week, I purchased a prepared Confit de Canard (duck confit) from my favorite charcuterie at our local Pearl Farmer's Market. Kocurek Family Charcuterie makes a drool-worthy, ready to heat and eat confit when there is little time to prepare the dish from scratch.
But, when in the spirit to cook, this recipe from Chef Craig Domville will make a perfect Confit de Canard.
Trim the visible fat from one whole duck, leaving a thin layer of fat on the legs. Using an all-steel or cast iron pan, render the fat over low heat. Once liquefied, strain out any lumps and return the fat to pan. (Note: If you don’t have enough fat to completely submerge two duck legs, you may also render additional pork fat.)
Save the tender duck breasts for another dish, and add the trimmed duck legs to the fat, along with two garlic cloves, cracked black pepper corns, bay leaves and dried rosemary. (Important: Use dried herbs to minimize moisture content so the confit is properly preservative.) Submerge the legs completely and bring the pan to a simmer.
Put the whole thing in the oven and bake at 225 degrees for two to two and a half hours - or until tender. Remove the legs from fat, strain off garlic and other seasonings. Pour fat back over legs – submerging them completely. Store in a metal or glass bowl.
Your confit legs are ready to roll. They can be preserved this way for up to three months in the refrigerator. The texture is tender, the taste is rich and they can be enjoyed hot, cold, sautéed, in soups, salads. Domville likes his straight out of the bowl!
I'm particularly fond of Confit Sarlandais, a traditional way of serving the confit with sliced potatoes that have been sauteed in the fat that was used to preserve the poultry. There is nothing better than this hearty cuisine from Perigord, an area east of Bordeaux, France!