Sunday, September 18, 2011
Duck Confit over a White Bean and Kale Ragu
Made this dish the other day. Duck confit is actually super easy, despite it's fancy heritage. Just cover the duck legs with some olive oil (traditionally duck fat, but I only bought duck legs, so wouldn't be able to render the fat from the carcass) to about 2/3'rd up the side of the duck legs, add some aromatics (I used celery, carrot, onion, whole garlic cloves, and some thyme sprigs) then bump it in an oven set to about 265 degrees. Let it cook low and slow for about 3 hours. Once the time is up, remove the legs, and strain the oil, removing the solids, but reserving the fat. Place the legs at the bottom of a bowl, and then cover with said fat so that it completely submerses the duck legs, this is what makes it a 'confit', i.e. to preserve in it's own fat. I am told you can keep the legs like this, shelf stable, for like 2 months....I have never let a duck leg sit uneaten ANYWHERE for that long, so I can't say for sure. When it comes time to eat, just take the leg out of it's fatbath, scrape off the excess oil, and then pan sear (I use a non stick pan for this) the legs, skin side down at first until the skin is dark brown and crispy, and then the other side until it is warm all the way through.
This is a seriously unctuous dish, full of flavor and richness, give it a try sometime!