Editor’s note: I’ve always been a bit intimidated by French cooking, especially confits, which sound so mysterious. But Martine Bertin-Peterson makes it all so easy. Here is her recipe for Duck Confit, served with potato celery root puree and carrots, making the perfect, seasonal winter meal.
by guest blogger, Martine Bertin-Peterson,
I held a terrific Goût et Voyage cooking class and dinner party this past Saturday night featuring Duck Confit.
The main course starred duck confit accompanied by potato celery root puree and glazed baby carrots. A delicious Chevalier d’Anthelme Côtes du Rhône accompanied the entrée. We closed out the meal with a light fruit tart for dessert.
Duck confit is such a wonderful dinner party entrée. It can (and should!) be prepared 2-3 days in advance. The keys to successful duck confit are good quality duck legs and completely submerging the legs in duck fat for their long, slow bake in the oven. Even a novice home chef can experience mouth-watering results.
Duck legs (drumstick and thigh) are not as easy to find in Bucks County as they are in France. I order mine fresh from Haring Brothers and am never disappointed. Just call a few days in advance.
Goût et Voyage Duck Confit
6 duck legs
9 cloves garlic, peeled
6 large bay leaves
2-3 tubs duck fat (D’Artagnan is readily available in area grocery stores like Wegmans)
- Sprinkle duck legs with 2 TBSP kosher salt. Sprinkle the bottom of a glass pan with 1 TBSP cracked pepper corns. Lay 3 duck legs skin side down. Place 3 garlic cloves and 2 bay leaves on each duck leg. Lay the other 3 duck legs on top of the first three, sandwich style. Tightly wrap the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 225°F.
- Rinse each duck leg under cool water to remove most of the salt. Reserve the garlic and bay leaves. Place the garlic, bay leaves and 1 TBSP cracked pepper corns on the bottom of a pan just large enough to hold the duck legs in one layer. Lay the duck legs skin-side up on top of the aromatics.
- In a glass bowl, heat the duck fat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on high until the fat has melted. Be sure to cover the bowl to avoid splatters! Pour the melted duck fat over the duck legs, submerging the duck legs completely, and place in the pre-heated oven.
- Cook the duck legs for 8-10 hours.
- To serve immediately, carefully remove the duck legs from the fat and place on a broiler rack/pan. Broil for 3-5 minutes until skin is crisp.
- The duck legs may be kept refrigerated, in the fat, for up 5 days. To serve, re-heat the duck legs for 1 hour in a 225°F oven and proceed as above to crisp skin.
- Note: Strain the duck fat into a clean plastic tub or glass jar. The duck fat keeps refrigerated or frozen for 3 months. Use it to cook potatoes, sauté mushrooms, etc.
Martine Bertin-Peterson has the best of both worlds. She organizes amazing culinary trips to France, focusing on food and wine, and she teaches how to make simple, Mediterranean-inspired dishes in her cooking classes here in Bucks County. You can also get more delicious recipes on her blog, Bucks County Foodie.