If ever there is confit on the menu, pork, duck, fish or even the presence of confit garlic it is a given that I would pick that dish over anything else. Why, you may ask, simply because the flavour is so concentrated but yet so well rounded - eating something that has been confit-ed is eating that ingredient in its most optimum form. From bubbling away in rich fat for enough hours you need for a decent nights sleep, the meat transforms; its succulence mutliplied a hundred fold, juices slink out but are captured within the fat and fortified leaving valuable confit jelly, the fat takes on the flavour from the meat and can be reused for another confit or for roasting potatoes. I followed Ruhlman & Polcyn's instructions from their Charcuterie book...
|Make the rub: 10 juniper berries, 4 cloves, 4 garlic cloves sliced,|
6 torn bay leaves, small bunch of thyme
|Rub the Rub: once all ingredients have been roughly pulverised |
rub into 6 duck legs with 2 handfuls of salt and lots of fresh
pepper - leave in the fridge overnight
Rinse and Dry: rinse off salt and seasonings and dry meat with paper towels
Submerge in Fat: put duck in cooking pot (make sure there are snug)
and submerge in the glorious fat, 1.5 kg of it!
Bring to a gentle simmer on the stove then transfer to a preheated oven 82˚C for 6-10 hours
As you can see there are many hours to the final dish but effort is very minimal however results are out of this world!! I crisped up the skin of the duck in a hot frying pan, rendering out some fat then stuck it under the grill for 5 minutes. In the last hour of confit-ing I slow cooked puy lentils with a bouquet garni, carrots, mini potato cubes, onions and garlic in veg stock, in the last few minutes added spinach and crushed in the potato to thicken, and just because it was readily available stirred in a tablespoon of duck/goose fat.