Monday, November 3, 2008

When I'm bad, I'm better

Warm Salad of Duck Confit, Canelli Beans, and Dijon vinaigrette on Curly Endive.

They had duck legs at Sendiks.  Easy enough to order a duck but you rarely see the legs out for sale.  So I carpe deimed.

Duck confit is an old French cooking method where the legs are lightly cured overnight in a mixture of 1 part salt, 2 parts sugar (I used brown) and whatever seasoning.  Pickling spice works well.  For the 3 legs I used about 1T salt. Here they are the next day:

Then....the duck is slowly cooked in duck fat.  Yeah, actually I DO have duck fat in back of my freezer from the last time I cooked a whole duck. Plus there was a good bit of fat on the legs (I removed before curing).
The duck simmers in the fat for a few hours, until it is super tender and the meat practically falls off the bone.

Here are the legs, resting.  The leftover fat gets boiled until all the moisture is gone, strained, and refrozen.  It's good fat to use for sauteing vegetables, particularly potatoes.

A can of cannelli beans, cooked with a splash of white wine, a tomato, and some shallot.  Then the confit, a sharp dijon vinaigrette (using  mmm...the brown goop that was in the bottom of the confit pan when I poured off the leftover fat).  The whole was tossed with Curly Endive, a nice sturdy green that cuts a little of the richness of the duck.

So, this was the night when my 5 year old asked if the duck we were eating was an actual dead duck that had been killed.  Uh oh....

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