Smoked Duck Confit with Peanut Sauce
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Credit: Ian Boden, Chef, The Shack, Staunton, Virginia
The National Culinary Review, June 2016
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded, chopped
2 T. whole butter
¼ cup raw skinned peanuts
3 fresh bay leaves, divided
10 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
2 T. bourbon
1 cup white wine
2 T. apple cider vinegar
1 quart brown chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
4 duck legs
½ cup salt
½ cup sugar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 T. black peppercorn
1 head garlic, cut in half
1 quart duck fat (or other fresh rendered fat)
1. Sweat onion, garlic and chili in butter with pinch of salt until tender, about 10 minutes. Increase heat; add peanuts, 1 bay leaf and 4 sprigs thyme. Cook for a few minutes to develop a little color. Deglaze with bourbon; reduce until dry. Add white wine; reduce until almost dry. Add vinegar and stock; simmer until peanuts are completely soft. Remove herbs; puree until smooth in blender. Pass puree through fine sieve into clean pot. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. If sauce is too thick, thin with warm water.
2. Day 1: Rinse and pat dry duck legs. In large bowl, mix together salt, sugar, 1 bay leaf, 3 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig rosemary and ½ T. peppercorn. Toss duck legs in mixture to coat evenly. Put half remaining mixture on bottom of dish; layer legs; top with remainder. Wrap tightly in plastic; refrigerate overnight.
3. Day 2: Remove duck legs from cure. Rinse well; pat dry. Cold-smoke duck legs for 2 hours. Melt duck fat in Dutch oven with remaining herbs and half head garlic. When fat melted but not hot, add smoked duck legs. Cover; put in 300°F oven for approximately 3 hours. Check every hour; duck is done when meat pulls away but does not fall off bone. Remove from oven; allow to sit until reaches room temperature. Rest duck in refrigerator overnight.
4. To serve: Remove duck legs from fat; allow to come to room temperature. Sear skin in cast-iron pan at medium heat until crispy. Top confit with peanut sauce.
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