Last week we made the Ad Hoc Pan Seared Duck Breast leaving us with the legs & thighs from our Peking Duck. We reserved all the fat from cooking the breasts & then I rendered the rest of the fat we got from butchering the duck. (I have to say it would have been helpful if Ad Hoc at Home actually explained how to render the fat, I ended up searching out instructions online.) Next I made an herb salt from kosher salt, brown sugar, a bay leaf, peppercorns, fresh thyme & parsley. The duck got rubbed with the salt (about 1 tablespoon per leg) & then sat in the fridge overnight to cure.
The next day I rinsed & dried the duck then fit it into the smallest baking dish I could. The duck then gets covered in the rendered fat. Here's where I ran into a problem, I didn't have enough fat from the one duck to cover the legs. According to our charcuterie book lard was a fine substitute & I just happened to have some on hand. I sealed the baking dish with some tin foil since it didn't have a lid and put the whole thing in the oven where it slowly cooked at 190 F for 8 hours.
At this point the duck is tender but doesn't fall off the bone when I take a fork to it. I put the duck into a plastic container & strained the fat over it leaving any of the duck juiced behind.
Then we let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days which apparently improves the flavor. At this point you can serve it by pan searing the confit skin-side down in a little of the fat until brown & crispy & then just heating through in the oven. This is what is suggested in Ad Hoc.
We decided to use one of the legs & thighs on a pizza similar to the one I had on our first anniversary. We kept this pizza really simple to showcase the salty, tender duck. We started with a whole wheat pizza crust (just our favorite pizza crust substituting 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat flour.) with a little garlic in it. That we topped with 3 ounces of fontina cheese, one sliced leek, the confit, fleur de sel, freshly ground pepper & a drizzle of olive. Let it cook for 15 minutes at 450 F. A pizza that is simply delicious!
Sure duck confit is a little time consuming to make but most of the time is hands off & the end result was worth it!
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© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski