Confit Duck

I've noticed a lot lately that duck fat is becoming more accessible then it used to be. Gone are the days of having to buy in duck trimmings so you can render them down, now you can pop down to your local Coles and buy a tub of it! I'm not entirely sure of the different qualities and different brands (I'm sure that nothing really compares to making your own fresh fat), but it's good to know that the average Joe can easily grab a hold of some delicious heart-attack-inducing fat!

So after seeing this I thought it'd be good to share a confit duck recipe. I've done a few different ones at different restaurants over the years and it really does come down to the quality of duck and the quality of fat, so if you're using store-bought fat I'd love to know what the quality is like of the different brands you can purchase? If you're new to this process then by all means give them a go and let me know what you think!

You will need... (for 8 serves or 4 fatties ;-))
8 duck legs
1.5 Lt duck fat
8 peppercorns
3/4 cup good quality salt
2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves

Method...
1. Use a small needle to prick the duck legs 3-4 times each just to penetrate the meat slightly.
2. Combine the pepper, thyme and garlic in a mortar and pestle and bash to a paste. Add the salt and grind quickly together to combine.
3. Place the duck legs in a shallow tray and rub the whole salt mix over the duck legs. Massage into all the nooks and crannies. Cover tray with glad wrap and leave in the fridge overnight (12 hrs)
4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Remove the duck legs from the fridge and use paper towel to wipe off excess salt and any liquid that the salt has drawn out.
5. Place the legs on a clean tray and heat the fat in a saucepan to liquify. Pour the warm fat over the legs and cover with greaseproof paper and then seal with foil. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 130 degrees celsius and leave to cook for 3 hours
6. Remove foil and baking paper and check the duck has begun to brown and soften. Cook uncovered for another hour or so until duck sediment has sunk to the bottom and duck is looking crisp and falling apart.
7. Allow to cool in the fat, then keep in the fat when storing and duck should last 2 weeks if refrigerated properly.

Image from https://www.stellaculinary.com/podcasts/video/hcc-1-duck-confit

Confit duck is served best with;
Risotto with pumpkin and nutmeg or mixed mushrooms
Warm salad with beetroot, goat cheese and hazelnuts
Cold salad with pear, rocket and parmesan
Gnocchi with sage and brown butter
In crepes
Cassoulet with white beans and packed with seasonal veggies
In asian wontons with broth
Really very versatile!

And make sure you keep the fat for the best ever roast potatoes!


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