Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Duck Confit

A second birthday request from Maggie was duck risotto.  With all of the other duck I was making and all the fat I was trimming from the ducks, I decided to make duck confit for the risotto.  Duck number three was portioned out into 2 legs, 2 wings, and 2 breasts, bone in/on.  The fat was added to that from the other ducks.  The rest was frozen with the other bones for making stock at a later date.  On the recipe front, my goal is the easier the better.  I mean, I'm up to my chin in ducks at this point, so I'm looking for a little less fuss.  Here's one that has few ingredients and does not take hours and hours of cooking.

3 tablespoons kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
6 sprigs thyme
Coarsely ground black pepper
2 duck breasts
2 duck legs with thighs
2 duck wings, trimmed
About 4 cups duck fat

For the duck fat, you can purchase it or make it yourself if you are having a duck extravaganza like I am.  I took all of the fat I trimmed from the 3 ducks for Christmas Eve / Maggie's birthday dinner, and rendered it.  To render duck fat, simply place all of the fat in a heavy pot and cook over medium heat until it starts to sizzle.  Turn the heat down to low, cover and continue to cook until the fat/skin is crispy; then you know all of the fat has been rendered.  
In a dish or pan large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer, sprinkle 1 tbsp of the salt on the bottom.  Top with half of the garlic, shallot and thyme.  Lay the duck pieces on top and sprinkle the remaining salt evenly over the duck.  Then follow with the ground black pepper and the remaining garlic, shallot and thyme.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 day.
When ready to cook, remove the duck from the salt mixture and brush off any excess salt, and the garlic, shallots and thyme.  Place the duck in a single layer and a deep pan.  Dover the duck with the duck fat.  Place in a 240f oven and cook for 3-4 hours, or until duck will come easily off the bone.
Let cool and store duck in the fat until ready to use.  For me, this was no time at all.  I shredded the meat from the breasts to use for the risotto.  Then I shrink wrapped the rest to save for a future date.


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