Monday, January 6, 2014

Confit de canard

According to Wikipedia 'confit de canard' is a French dish made with the 'leg of the duck'. I conserved a whole duck. Confit is a process of preservation, which consists of salt curing and poaching in fat.

First you need to divide the duck in useable parts. Duck breast is quite easy to separate from the carcass, the other parts are the legs. Remove some of the fat and keep for the gravy. I found one lead shot. Since I don't own a butcher's knife I used my little Fällkniven U2. This diminutive knife had no problem cutting through bone.

I cured the duck in a generous amount of coarse salt, fresh thyme, crushed garlic and black pepper overnight in the fridge, or a minimum of 8 hours.

The next day you will need to rinse the duck very thoroughly to remove all the salt. Pat dry with kitchen paper.

The proper way would be to poach the duck in duck fat. I couldn't find any duck fat so I used goose fat. Make sure the duck is completely covered in fat. I poached the duck for 3 hours in a 100 degrees Celsius oven. If you poach the duck on a lower temperature, say 75 Celsius, you'll need to poach (much) longer.

The result can be stored in jars for up to six months. I used the confit de canard the same day for a sautéed dish with potatoes, dupuy lentils, haricots verts and forest mushrooms.

I used the carcass to make a stock. The stock is used as a basis to make a gravy.

Fry some onion and duck fat (cut from the duck parts) and add a splash of white wine. Reduce till almost dry and add 200 ml of the stock and some fresh thyme. Reduce to half, add another 200 ml and repeat. This process will take more than one hour. Run the gravy through a sieve and season with pepper and salt.

To prepare my sauté I made confit potatoes. Cover sliced potatoes (parboiled for 2 minutes) in olive oil with fresh thyme and garlic and heat in a 140 degrees Celsius oven for one hour.

I cooked the dupuy lentils for 30 minutes and parboiled the haricots verts. Set aside.

To make the sauté
Heat some goose fat in a skillet. Fry the confit de canard. Add the mushrooms and confit potatoes. Put the skillet in a hot oven for 6 minutes. Return to stove and add the dupuy lentils and haricots verts. Heat for a couple of minutes and arrange the ingredients on a dish: potatoes on the bottom, then the vegetables and the duck on top. Add the gravy made from duck stock.

Wine: Château Le Clou Cassiopée 2008 (AOC Côtes de Bergerac); 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc.

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