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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Duck Confit

Duck confit

From the Thomas Keller Bouchon recipe so kindly sent to me by Derrick of An Obsession With Food.
I have had 2 duck breasts sitting in the fridge (vacuum sealed!) for quite a while and just wanted to use them up. I had all kinds of ideas to use them, but as my family don't like duck and A. and I are so unbelievably busy with music commitments leading up to Christmas I couldn't find a day to schedule in a pleasant, duck dinner. So, when I read Derrick's account of the best duck confit ever I knew what I had to make. By making confit I would be able to keep the duck for much longer, and enjoy it at our leisure, when things quietened down a little more.
However, the experiement nearly came to a grinding halt when I couldn't find duck fat anywhere I searched. Some poultry places (in produce markets, for heaven's sake!) looked at me like I had two heads. Finally I went to our local butcher who told me he did stock it, but wouldn't have any for a couple of weeks. Well, by this stage my duck was thawed and more than ready to be cooked ASAP. Any longer and I wouldn't be keen to consume any ducky goodness from my fridge. So, a little internet research revealed some duck confit recipes made with olive oil - the advantage to this method being the wonderfully duck-flavoured oil created at the end of the long cooking process (I'm going to use some of this excellent oil for the roast potatoes on Christmas day).
Duck confit
I followed the method desribed to me by Derrick, which I will not reproduce here for copyright reasons - but in essence you create a herbed salt to cover the meat, refridgerate it over night and then cook it in a heavy pot for 10 (yes, ten!) hours on very, very low heat. The duck meat becomes cooked through and very tender.
I enjoyed my duck as shown above, with a helping of Dutch red cabbage and apple (yum!) which really helped to cut through the almost overpowering saltiness of the duck, and a serve of my fantastic crash-hot potatoes. A very excellent meal, many hours in the preparation!

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