Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday Best Duck Confit

First, what is Duck Confit? I know that anything French produces slight intimidation in the home cook, but it really shouldn’t as the explanation of this divine dish is, well, divinely easy. Duck Comfit comes from the Gascon region of Southwestern France and involves salt curing duck legs for several days, and then slowly poaching them in fat. This method preserves the duck allowing you to use the rich, tender meat in other dishes later on. My streamlined recipe is a Sunday cook’s best friend. Cooking the duck in a slow cooker renders the fat and flavors the meat. Finish the dish in a sauté pan to crisp the skin. You can eat the duck right away, or transfer to an airtight container for later use. Pair with a dry, crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc.                                                                                  

So what got me thinking about duck? A recent trip to the Watauga Farmers’ Market led me back to my favorite vendor, New Life Farm and Jenny, the matriarch of the family and foodie extraordinaire. Her special this week is Muscovy Duck, which she touts to be less greasy and more like veal than poultry. We got to talking and the French delicacy, duck confit came up. Jenny mentioned that in between family and farm duties, she planned to embark on a tutorial to cook the classic dish. As it is one of my most favorite things, I too rose to the challenge. I posed the question, could I come up with a recipe that produces delicious duck comfit that every home cook can prepare?

Using my trusty slow cooker, and a packet of Jenny’s fabulous duck portions, I think I may have done it. Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think. You’ll notice in this photo, a duck breast with the leg/thigh portions in the slow cooker.
Using this recipe is not the way to cook the breast. I did it only to produce additional fat, as Jenny had run out of legs by the time I barged up to her stand. To cook the duck breast, slit the skin, season it, and cook the bird skin side down in a sauté pan until the skin is nice and crisp. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook just until the duck is rare (about 135°).

If all of this is just a little much, but your taste buds are in “must have duck confit” mode, go to D’ and order it already prepared!

You’ll notice that I call this recipe Sunday Best Duck Confit. I do this as a sneak peak and preview of my new e-book, Sunday Best Dishes, A Cookbook for Passionate Cooks due out this spring. I’m looking for recipe testers now, so if you like dishes like this one, send a note to and I’ll give you more info!

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails