Duck Confit (French slow-cooked duck)


Duck Confit is an adored, age-old French preparation for duck legs. Slow-cooked in duck fats till the meat is meltingly tender, then the pores and skin crisped to golden perfection, this can be a conventional Duck Confit recipe that’s low-effort and DOESN’T require buckets of duck fats!

🇫🇷Welcome again to French Bistro Week!🇫🇷

From time to time, I wish to dedicate every week of recipes to a theme. This week, it’s French Bistro Week!!

Following Monday’s French Goat’s Cheese Salad starter, I current at the moment’s Duck Confit because the delicious predominant. As for Friday? We’ll spherical out the week with an unimaginable French dessert, in fact!!


Duck Confit

Called Confit de Canard in French, Duck Confit is a sublime and basic French bistro dish. Confit (pronounced kon-FEE) right here refers back to the technique of slow-cooking the duck in its fats, yielding gorgeously tender meat. The legs are then briefly sizzled in a scorching pan or oven till the paper-thin pores and skin is splendidly crisp.

Confit historically was carried out for preservation functions, permitting the duck to be saved for lengthy durations. This nonetheless has advantages at the moment as a result of it means we will simply make Duck Confit forward of time and hold it to be used each time the flowery takes us!

This recipe for Duck Confit involves you by the use of a stellar French chef I work with, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre. And for me it’s a game-changer. Why? For one, the strategy is extremely easy. It’s extra forgiving and fewer messy than even a roast rooster, and much much less graft than, say, fried rooster!

But the actual clincher is that this: Unlike most Duck Confit recipes, this one DOESN’T require litres of duck fats! By arranging the legs snugly for cooking, you want far much less fats than you suppose – at most a couple of cups – which will be re-used or saved for months.

Easy, environment friendly and excellent for making forward. Delicious, indulgent and fashionable. I’m operating out of bins to tick right here! If you’ve all the time wished to strive your hand at Duck Confit, now’s the time!

Duck Confit fresh out of the oven with crispy golden skin
Close up picture displaying crispy pores and skin Duck Confit, recent out of the oven able to be served.

What Duck Confit tastes like

The in a single day remedy ensures our duck legs are seasoned with right through, and delicately perfumed with the herbs, spices and garlic.

Slow-cooking of the legs underneath duck fats then softens the meat till it’s tender, silky, and simply melting within the mouth. Some melted duck fats clinging to the meat reinforces the wealthy duck flavour, whereas setting the stage for the crisping step.

A remaining blast within the oven is all that’s then wanted for that extra fats to fry and crisp up the pores and skin. The paper-thin pores and skin shatters like glass once you reduce via it into the comfortable flesh … oh my!! 🤤

Close up of fork showing tender flesh of Duck Confit
Close up picture displaying the extremely tender flesh of Duck Confit.

What does confit imply?

The phrase “confit” in French means “to preserve”. It can apply to completely different meals, together with fruit and greens.

In the case of meat it refers back to the strategy of first curing then slow-cooking meat underneath fats at a low temperature. The meat can then be saved underneath the cooking fats for lengthy durations, free from spoilage. It simply so occurs that this system additionally yields impossibly tender, scrumptious and flavourful meat that will get higher the longer it’s saved! Those intelligent French …

Historically, this preservation method was a necessity to outlive occasions of shortage. Today, it means we will take pleasure in produce at its finest (even when out of season) and have luxurious preserved meals at our disposal.

Duck Confit, originating from the south-western area of France, is likely one of the most basic and well-known confit meals.

Duck Confit submerged under duck fat, fresh out of the oven
Duck Confit after eradicating from the oven after eight hours of gradual roasting submerged in duck fats.

Duck reduce used for Duck Confit

The reduce of duck used for Duck Confit are duck legs. It is the decrease leg plus the thigh hooked up, a poultry reduce often known as a maryland right here in Australia.

It should be bone-in and with the pores and skin on. Because it ain’t Duck Confit with out crispy pores and skin!

Raw duck legs / duck maryland for Duck Confit

Duck fats to cook dinner Duck Confit

To confit meat means to gradual cook dinner in fats, normally the meat’s personal fats. So for Duck Confit we use duck fats. These days, you’ll discover duck fats offered in jars within the pantry aisle of grocery shops alongside different oils. While these merchandise had been thought of very “gourmet” 10 years in the past with hefty worth tags to match, lately they’re much higher worth and simpler to seek out. The fats will be re-used a number of occasions and can hold sealed within the freezer for six months or longer.

Technically any fats or oil can be utilized to confit a meat. However in conventional French delicacies it’s commonest to make use of the identical animal fats as from the meat you’re cooking. The purpose is partly historic: in the event you’re a farmer who has simply harvested a bunch of geese and plan to protect some, you’ll possible have loads of duck fats mendacity round too. The different purpose is the flavours are extra naturally extra harmonious.

Here’s one model of duck fats that’s offered at grocery shops in Australia:

Duck fat for Duck Confit

How a lot duck fats you want

You will want between 600 – 800g / 21 – 28 ozof duck fats. You want sufficient fats to cowl the legs so they’re absolutely submerged for gradual roasting (see pictures in put up / video). So the precise quantity you want will depend on the scale of the duck legs and your roasting pan.

We minimise the quantity of duck fats required through the use of a small roasting pan that the duck matches in snugly. While you possibly can rely on some fats being launched by the duck itself through the gradual roasting time, it doesn’t truly increase the fats ranges.


Dry remedy for Duck Confit

One of the important thing traits of Duck Confit is the unimaginable, delicate however complicated fragrance of herbs and spices that’s infused right through the duck. We use lots of the stuff. Lots!!

Duck Confit being marinated in fresh herbs and spices
Ingredients in Duck Confit
  • Fresh herbs – Thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano and bay leaves. Do not underestimate the ability of those recent herbs!

    Dried herb substitute: If you might be lacking considered one of these herbs, use about 1 tsp of the dried herb equal. Try to keep away from substituting greater than one of many recent herbs with dried as a result of it’s not fairly the identical. However, in and emergency, sure I might use dried herbs for all and sure it is going to nonetheless be fabulous!

  • Garlic – Smash the garlic clove with the facet of a knife to make the clove burst open however nonetheless largely stay in a single piece. This releases the flavour of the garlic to subtly infuse the duck with garlic while making it simple to select later;

  • Eschalots – Also often known as French onions, these are known as “shallots” within the US. They appear like child onions, however have purple-skinned flesh, are finer and sweeter. Not to be confused with what some individuals in Australia name “shallots” ie the lengthy inexperienced onions; and

  • Spices – Whole black peppercorns, coriander seeds, star anise, juniper berries and cloves (entire).

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How to make Duck Confit

Are you able to be shocked how extremely simple it’s to make Duck Confit? Oui? Here we go!

Overview

Here’s an outline of the steps. I’m offering extra visuals than normal as a result of I believe this isn’t an on a regular basis recipe for most individuals. But I promise it’s simple!

  1. Cure duck for 12 – 24 hours in a dry remedy of salt, herbs and spices;

  2. Submerge in duck fats, cook dinner in oven for eight hours at a really low temperature. We use a small pan to minimise the quantity of duck fats required, and I normally gradual cook dinner in a single day;

  3. Crisp pores and skin in a scorching oven, utilizing a rack set over a pan of boiling water to maintain the flesh on the underside moist. This is a much more efficient and simpler technique than the same old pan-frying or broiling/grilling known as for in most recipes.

Part 1: Dry-cure duck

How to make Duck Confit
  1. Coat duck with salt, herbs and spices: Place duck legs and all of the curing elements in a big bowl and toss effectively along with your fingers.

  2. Cure 12 -24 hrs: Transfer to a ceramic or glass dish giant sufficient so the duck legs slot in a single layer however snugly, so they’re cosied up with all these herbs and spices. Cover and refrigerate for 12 – 24 hours (now not is critical).

  3. Rinse: Brush off the remedy. Rinse duck underneath faucet water to wash them, eradicating all salt and different bits. Pat dry with paper towels.

Part 2: Prepare for cooking

How to make Duck Confit
  1. Place duck in a comfortable roasting pan: Place duck in a small steel roasting pan with excessive sides wherein they match snugly, touching one another, however in a single layer. The pan I exploit is 27cm x 21cm (10.5″ x eight″);

    You want a pan with excessive sides so scorching duck fats doesn’t slosh out once you deal with it – scorching fats and fingers don’t combine! It’s finest if it’s a steel roasting pan so you possibly can put it straight on the range to kickstart the fats heating step (step three under);

  2. Cover with duck fats: Pour fats over duck legs. You want sufficient so they’re nearly absolutely submerged. Just a little little bit of the pores and skin or bone above the floor is ok as a result of the duck will shrink underneath because it cooks. The predominant intention right here is to make sure the flesh is absolutely submerged;

  3. Heat fats: Place the pan instantly on the range over medium-high warmth till the fats is effervescent energetically throughout the entire floor (ie not simply across the edges);

  4. Cover with paper: Turn the range off. Cover the duck with baking/parchment paper reduce to dimension so it sits flat on the oil floor. Press it gently right down to take away air bubbles.

    This paper lid is a cooking method much like a cartouche which is used to entice warmth and hold meals submerged throughout braising or confit like this.

    Cover the pan tightly with a double layer of foil. Now you’re prepared for gradual roasting!

Part three: Slow-cooking (confit)

How to make Duck Confit
  1. Slow-cook: Carefully switch to the oven. (Be very cautious! Hot duck fats is harmful!) Slow-cook for eight hours at 100°C / 210°F (80°C fan). I usually do that in a single day. In an oven this low, I really feel completely secure snoozing away!

  2. Remove from oven: This is what it seems to be like when it comes out of the oven. It will look completely unimpressive with pale and flabby pores and skin. But simply wait! The finest is but to come back!

  3. Check flesh is cooked: By this stage, the duck flesh must be ultra-tender and “fall apart at a touch” however nonetheless hooked up to the bone. There’s two methods to verify:

    Method 1 – Turn the leg over to verify the uncovered flesh facet. Use a fork to verify if the flesh flakes simply (it’s tempting to take away a bit and pop it in your mouth, I do know – resist!);
    Method 2 – Bend the duck leg gently on a plate. It ought to bend simply when stress is utilized on the joint (see video).

Meat carried out, at this stage the duck can both be crisped up within the oven to serve immediately, or saved within the fridge / freezer nonetheless submerged in fats. Therein lies the fantastic thing about Duck Confit – you possibly can have this wonderful dish sitting round able to impress the pants off some fortunate individual on the drop of a hat!

Part four: Long time period storage (optionally available)

Here’s methods to retailer the duck within the fridge (5 days) or freezer (three months or extra) if you’re planning to maintain it to serve at a later date.

Those of you acquainted with Duck Confit could be pondering, “But isn’t the whole point of confit that you can keep the meat sealed under fat just the fridge for weeks or even months, and it will be good to eat?” The reply is sure, historically Duck Confit can be saved long-term in only a cool place. In 99.99% of circumstances it is going to hold completely like this. If you’re comfy doing this, you possibly can. However out of an (over) abundance of warning I like to recommend preserving within the fridge now not than common meals, and freezer for any period previous this.

How to make Duck Confit
  1. Cover with duck fats: While the duck remains to be heat, take away from the roasting pan right into a non-reactive container wherein they match snugly. They will be stacked or in a single layer, simply so long as the duck fats covers the duck fully. Do this whereas the duck remains to be heat as they’re pliable so you possibly can prepare them in essentially the most space-efficient method.

  2. Strain duck fats: Strain the duck fats right into a jug, then go away it for a bit to let the duck juices settle on the backside. Then pour the duck fats over the duck legs, forsaking many of the duck juice;

  3. Cover and freeze: Once absolutely cool, cowl with a lid and place in fridge (5 days) or freezer (three months). The fats will solidify and switch white. If you might be comfy, you possibly can hold simply within the fridge for not less than a number of months, as is conventional!;

  4. To cook dinner: If the duck was frozen, thaw it in a single day within the fridge. Then warmth duck gently within the microwave to soften the fats so the duck will be eliminated. Proceed with the recipe to crisp up the pores and skin and reheat the duck.

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Part 5: Crisping pores and skin and ending the Duck Confit

How to make Duck Confit
  1. Prepare for roasting: Remove duck from fats, permitting extra to drip off. Dab extra fats off with paper towels;

  2. Skin crisping: Pour 2.5cm / 1″ boiling water water right into a roasting pan, then set a rack over the pan. Place the duck on the rack, pores and skin facet up.

    The water retains the flesh of the duck extremely moist while permitting the pores and skin to crisp up superbly. This technique of crisping up the pores and skin works much better than the stove-searing strategies that different recipes use. It provides essentially the most even color and, extra importantly, crispy pores and skin throughout!

  3. Crisp pores and skin: Roast duck for 40 minutes in a scorching oven (240°C / 465°F (220°C fan)) till the pores and skin is a deep golden color and crispy. Rotate the pan as wanted to make the color even throughout; and

  4. Serve immediately whereas the pores and skin is at it’s crispiest finest! There isn’t any must relaxation duck as a result of the meat is already cooked. In reality, the pores and skin loses crispiness if it’s sitting round.

Duck Confit fresh out of the oven with crispy golden skin

Crispy pores and skin…..

Duck Confit served on French Lentil Ragout

… and tender, flavour-infused flesh. It’s that magical mixture hits my carnivore candy spot each single time! 😉

Showing the tender flesh of Duck Confit
Duck Confit served with a conventional facet of French Lentil Ragout.
Duck Confit dinner served with French lentils
Duck Confit served with a conventional facet of French Lentil Ragout with a facet of Brioche Dinner Rolls.

How to serve Duck Confit

The most conventional method Duck Confit is served in France is on a mattress of lentils. The earthy lentils are an ideal match for the wealthy and gamey duck. This is a French Lentil Ragout – sure that’s proper, I stated a ragout! It’s mouthwateringly good, and a worthy serving companion to Duck Confit.

Add a bowl of leafy greens tossed frivolously with a French Dressing, and voila! You’ll really feel similar to you’re in a comfy bistro or a bustling brasserie tucked within the again streets of Paris! – Nagi x

PS. Dessert is approaching Friday. 😇


Watch methods to make it

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Duck Confit on a bed of French lentils

Duck Confit – French gradual roasted duck legs

Servingsfour

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. A standard recipe for Duck Confit from a French chef! Duck legs are slow-cooked in duck fats till the meat is meltingly tender, then the pores and skin crisped to golden perfection. This Duck Confit recipe is low-effort and DOESN’T require buckets of duck fats! Simple, but a lusciously indulgent dish worthy of gracing restaurant tables. This may simply be the final word dish for a low-stress ceremonial dinner or treating your family members!Recipe courtesy of Chef Jean-Baptiste Alexandre, culinary collaborator for all issues French! Meet Chef “JB” right here.

Instructions

Cure duck:

  • Coat duck with dry remedy: Place duck legs and all of the Dry Cure elements in a big bowl. Toss effectively along with your fingers.

  • Cure 12 – 24 hrs: Transfer to a ceramic or glass dish giant sufficient so the duck matches in a single layer however snugly. Cover and refrigerate for 12 – 24 hours (now not is critical).

  • Rinse: Brush off remedy and rinse duck underneath faucet water to wash them (take away all salt and black bits). Pat dry with paper towels.

Slow cooking (confit):

  • Preheat oven to 100°C/210°F (80°C fan) with a shelf positioned in the midst of the oven.

  • Roasting pan: Place duck in a small steel roasting pan with excessive sides. They ought to match snugly, touching one another, however in a single layer. (Note 5)

  • Cover with duck fats: Pour fats over duck. It ought to just about cowl the legs. (Note 6)

  • Heat fats in pan: Place pan on the range over medium-high warmth. Heat fats till effervescent energetically all throughout the floor (ie not simply across the edges).

  • Cover with paper: Turn off range. Cover floor with baking / parchment paper, reduce to dimension so it sits on the floor of the fats over the duck. Gently push right down to take away air bubbles. Cover pan tightly with a double layer of foil.

  • Slow cook dinner: Carefully switch to the oven. Cook for eight hours.

  • Check flesh: Remove one duck leg (gently). Turn over to verify the flesh facet – meat must be fall-apart tender. Leg also needs to give simply when stress is utilized to the joint (see video).

Storing cooked Duck Confit (optionally available):

  • Duck will be saved submerged in fats at this stage. The meat juice must be strained off first.

  • Remove duck to a non-reactive container wherein they match snugly. (Note 7) Pour over cooled duck fats, leaving juice sediment behind. Ensure it absolutely covers the duck (push duck underneath whereas heat and pliable as wanted, utilizing tongs).

  • Once absolutely cool, cowl with lid and place in fridge (5 days) or freezer (three months). Fat will solidify.

  • To cook dinner, warmth duck gently in a container in microwave to soften the fats. Proceed with recipe.

Crisping pores and skin and ending Duck:

  • Preheat oven to 240°C/465°F (220°C fan). Place a rack over a deep roasting pan.

  • Remove duck from fats: Remove duck from fats, permitting extra oil to drip off. Pat extra oil off with paper towels.

  • Prepare for roasting: Pour 2.5cm / 1″ of boiling water water into the roasting pan (steam retains flesh moist). Place duck on rack, pores and skin facet up.

  • Crisp pores and skin: Roast duck for 40 minutes till the pores and skin is a deep golden and crispy. Rotate pan as wanted for even color.

  • Serve: Rest briefly to chill, and serve! A basic French facet dish for Duck Confit is Lentil Ragout. (pictured in put up)

Recipe Notes:

1. Duck legs – This dish requires the higher duck leg with the thigh hooked up, a reduce also referred to as a “maryland” right here in Australia. It should be pores and skin on and bone in. If frozen, thaw fully and pat dry effectively with paper towels earlier than commencing the recipe.
In my pictures I’ve trimmed off the top of the leg bone, for a neater look. You don’t have to do that!
2. Duck fats – Sold in jars at giant grocery shops lately! Australia: Woolworths, Coles, Harris Farms. The worth has come down considerably prior to now 5 years. I exploit duck fats from the aisle moderately than fridge part.
three. Fresh herbs measurement – Use sprigs and frivolously pack them into cup measures. Use ingredient pictures in put up and the recipe video for visible information, or weights offered in recipe.
Eschalots –Also often known as French onions, and known as “shallots” within the US. They appear like child onions, however have purple-skinned flesh, are finer and sweeter. Not to be confused with what some individuals in Australia name “shallots” ie the lengthy inexperienced onions.
four. Salt – Measurements are for cooking/kosher salt which have bigger grains than desk salt. If you solely have desk salt, cut back by 1/four (in any other case it is going to be too salty).
5. Pan for gradual roasting – The key right here is dimension, mine is 27cm x 21cm (10.5″ x eight″). Raw duck ought to slot in a single layer however snugly, touching, to scale back the quantity of fats required to cowl it. The duck will shrink because it cooks so cosy is ok.
Metal pans are finest so you are able to do the preliminary warmth of the oil with the duck in it on the range. But in the event you solely have ceramic or glass, pour the duck fats right into a saucepan and produce to a boil. Warm the ceramic / glass baking dish by operating underneath scorching water, then dry (shock of boiling scorching oil in fridge chilly glass could make some shatter!) Put duck in per recipe, then pour fats over the duck and place in oven.
6. Duck fats protection for cooking – Fat ought to nearly cowl the legs (see pictures in put up / video). While some fats will probably be launched by the duck itself through the gradual roasting time, it doesn’t increase the fats ranges. If the best level of the flesh or the bone ends are poking out a bit, that’s okay.
7. Cooked duck storage – Fully submerged in fats, will hold for five days within the fridge or three months within the freezer.
Container will be glass, ceramic or plastic, however secret is the scale such that the duck matches snugly (stacked or single layer) so they’re absolutely submerged in fats (key for meals security for fridge to make sure it stays preserved).
Traditionally, the duck can be saved for extended durations simply in a cool place. 99.99% of circumstances, you possibly can retailer the duck in your fridge for a number of months with out spoilage. To be cautious, I like to recommend solely 5 days within the fridge else freeze. But in the event you’re comfy with storing it the normal method, be happy.
eight. What to do with used duck fats – Store in an hermetic container or jar within the fridge for six months or freezer for longer, so long as the fats is clear.
Reusing the fats: Duck fats will be reused round three occasions for Duck Confit earlier than it will get too salty (simply style earlier than use). To verify if it’s nonetheless OK, scent it. If it smells rancid or smelly, discard. If too salty for Duck Confit, use it for Duck Fat Potatoes!
98% of the duck fats after roasting will probably be clear, pure fats. But there will probably be some duck juices which is able to lower the shelf lifetime of the fats. To take away this, pour the cooled fats right into a jug utilizing a superb mesh strainer. The duck juice will settle on the backside (fats is evident pale gold, juice is brownish). Then pour the fats off, forsaking the duck juice.
Alternatively, pressure the fats right into a jug and let it solidify within the fridge. Then scrape the fats off, forsaking the juice (which is able to agency right into a jelly). You’ll must reheat the fats to pour right into a container.

9. Source – This recipe was created in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Alexandre, a French chef residing in Sydney who works with me on among the extra iconic recipes of the world. If there’s anybody who will know Duck Confit, if it’s a French chef!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 463cal (23%)Protein: 46g (92%)Fat: 30g (46%)Saturated Fat: eightg (50%)Cholesterol: 207mg (69%)Sodium: 1934mg (84%)Potassium: 1mgVitamin C: threemg (four%)Calcium: 18mg (2%)Iron: fourmg (22%)

Life of Dozer

Moving into a short lived rental whereas my home is present process renovations!! It’s a brief time period furnished rental fortunately, so I simply needed to transfer personals in….and all my kitchen gear, in fact!

This is just about what Dozer spent the entire shifting day doing. (ie Bugger all)



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