Prior to cooking, the spices are rinsed from the meat, which is then patted dry. The meat is placed in a cooking dish deep enough to contain the meat and the rendered fat, and placed in an oven at a low temperature (76 – 135 degrees Celsius/170 – 275 Fahrenheit). The meat is slowly poached at least until cooked, or until meltingly tender, generally four to ten hours.
The meat and fat are then removed from the oven and left to cool. When cool, the meat can be transferred to a canning jar or other container and completely submerged in the fat. A sealed jar of duck confit may be kept in the refrigerator for up to six months, or several weeks if kept in a reusable plastic container. To maximise preservation if canning, the fat should top the meat by at least one inch. The cooking fat acts as both a seal and preservative and results in a very rich taste. Skipping the salt curing stage greatly reduces the shelf life of the confit.
A classic recipe is to fry or grill the legs in a bit of the fat until they are well-browned and crisp, and use more of the fat to roast some potatoes and garlic as an accompaniment. The potatoes roasted in duck fat to accompany the crisped-up confit is called pommes de terre à la sarladaise. Another accompaniment is red cabbage slow-braised with apples and red wine. Duck confit is also a traditional ingredient in many versions of cassoulet.
|From Wikibooks Cookbook|
|Duck Confit Recipe|
4 duck leg portions with thighs attached,
(about 2 pounds) excess fat
trimmed and reserved
1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 cups olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Remove the duck from the refrigerator. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and duck fat and set aside. Rinse the duck with cool water, rubbing off some of the salt and pepper. Pat dry with paper towels. Put the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and duck fat in the bottom of an enameled cast iron pot. Sprinkle evenly with the peppercorns and table salt. Lay the duck on top, skin side down. Add the olive oil. Cover and bake for 12 to 14 hours, or until the meat pulls away from the bone. Remove the duck from the fat. Strain the fat and set aside.
To store the duck confit, place the duck leg portions in a container, cover with the cooking fat, and store in the refrigerator. Alternately, pick the meat from the bones and place it in a stoneware container. Cover the meat with a thin layer of some of the strained fat. The duck confit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. The excess oil can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used like butter for cooking. The tinge of duck taste in the oil is wonderful.
Text Credits: Wikipedia WikiCookbook
Image Credit: WikimediaCommons