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Credit: Dan Mules, CEC, CCE, chef instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
Sizzle, Fall 2014
From the Chef
“Helpful Hints: 1. Save all the duck trimmings, which can be rendered for the fat. 2. Don’t allow duck fat to reach the smoking point. It will destroy the flavor of the fat, making it useless for cooking confit. 3. French the leg bone and remove the thigh bone after the duck is cooked. It will improve the presentation. 4. Crisp the skin when reheating, which will enhance the flavor and texture. 5. Duck confit is often a little salty. To offset this, plate it with something a little sweet.”
3 duck legs
1 quart duck fat
¾ cup sea salt
¼ cup brown sugar
Several sprigs of thyme
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 or 2 bay leaves, broken up
5 black peppercorns, crushed
5- or 6-quart cocotte, Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed sauce pot
Storage container large enough to hold legs while salting
Large mixing bowl
1. Prepare the curing mix using a standard 3-to- 1 salt-to-sugar ratio. Consider adding such aromatics as garlic, thyme, bay leaf, juniper and black peppercorns.
2. Trim excess skin and fat off duck legs.
3. Set aside enough curing mix to cover duck legs. Rub legs with leftover curing mix. Coat bottom of a storage container with some of the cure mix. Place legs in container; cover with remaining mix. Seal container; refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
4. Remove legs from cure. Rinse thoroughly to remove salt; purge in cold water for 30 minutes.
5. Remove legs from water; pat dry. Place in cocotte or other heavy-bottomed pan with duck fat.
6. Cook on stovetop or in oven at 180°F until tender, about 3 to 4 hours.
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