Sunday, January 2, 2011

Adventures in making Duck Confit – the Girl and the Fig way

Making Duck Confit has been a dream of mine for a long time. Over the years I heard about how it takes several days to make it, baking it in a duck fat and then chilling it for few days. Sounded so complicated. Plus where will I get duck fat? 

During the last few years I got more comfortable experimenting with new recipes and after my trip to Sonoma Valley in California and the Girl and the Fig restaurant I decided I was going to make Duck Confit for Christmas. I ordered Duck Confit at the restaurant and bought their cookbook from Amazon.
So, here is how I made my Duck Confit for the Christmas Dinner following the Girl and the Fig recipe.


3 Duck Leg Quarters that I bought from PCC Natural Markets
Rendered Duck Fat about 7 oz. that I also got from PCC Natural Markets from the butcher
Fresh Thyme
6 garlic cloves peeled

Day 1: Wash duck and pat dry, trim the excess fat of the leg quarters and save fat trimmings for later. Generously salt legs with salt, put in a glass dish with thyme springs in between and garlic cloves on top and underneath the legs. I put duck in a fridge for a day and a half. Recipe calls to keep it refrigerated for 24 hours.

Day 3: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Take the duck out of the fridge, wash the salt off, pat dry, put in a deep ovenproof glass dish. Next, put the rendered duck fat, reserved duck fat trimmings, and 1/4 cup of water in a pot and slowly bring to simmer. Continue simmering until the water evaporates and the fat has liquefied. Pour the liquefied duck fat over the duck in a glass dish, cover the dish with foil and put in the oven to bake for 3 ½ hours. After 3 ½ hours take the duck out of the dish and transfer into another dish, let it cool. Once the duck has cooled off, cover the dish with foil and put in a fridge. Recipe says to chill it for at least 4 hours. I left mine in a fridge for a day and a half. 

Day 5: It is Christmas Day and I am cooking the duck for dinner. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan until hot. Fry duck skin side down in a pan for about 1 minute. Then transfer pan to the oven and cook the duck for another 15 minutes, until skin is crisp. Take pan out of the oven and remove duck with a spatula, very carefully, try not to break the skin. I was very careful. This step takes patience! But I did it. I served duck with Turnip Galette, which I made following the recipe from Saveur Magazine. I also made a side of fried chanterelles and shallots (the recipe was posted earlier) and green salad. I was very happy with the result. Thank you the Girl and the Fig for a great recipe that was easy to follow. The Duck Confit turned out delicious!!!!

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