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Simon Lewinson

First time making confit de canard en sous vide

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Hi all,

I am a first timer with regard to making confit duck legs. Living out in the sticks, I cannot readily get fresh duck, so have procured some frozen white pekin duck legs.

I have defrosted them, trimmed off the excess fat to render, salted them heavily with sea salt, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, juniper berries and pepper and vacuum sealed them. I intend to leave them to cure for twelve hours in the fridge, unpack and rinse then cook sous vide at 78 degrees C for 12 hours.

image.jpg

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The photos are just after packing.

My main questions are:

How much liquid should be extracted from the legs?

Should I include further seasonings in the bags when cooking?

Is 12 hours curing adequate?

How long should I let it rest before consumption?

I have trawled the forums and google, and I am finding so much conflicting information.

Thanks

Simon

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How much liquid should be extracted from the legs? Not quite sure what you mean here, can you clarify?


Should I include further seasonings in the bags when cooking? Thomas Keller puts some garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme in a plastic wrap parcel (tightly wrapped so the herbs don't touch the flesh directly) and vacuum packs it in the bag while cooking.


Is 12 hours curing adequate? Yes


How long should I let it rest before consumption? I've had them virtually straight away and they are good. Make sure you dry them thoroughly before frying them so the skin doesn't slough off. I'd do this by storing them uncovered overnight in the fridge.

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Nick, I was wondering how much liquid the salt extracts during the curing.

Might try a spice pack in one of the bags.

Thanks

Simon

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Sorry Simon, missed this question when it appeared. Curing does make the meat firmer and the salt does get moist so some liquid is extracted but I haven't weighed the legs before and after salting and so can't comment specifically on how much. I do know, though, that the resultant confit is very moist.

You may find that the 12 hours curing is too much, most do it overnight (eg. eight hours) or shorter (eg. Keller recommends curing for six hours). The last lot I did cured for six hours and came out at just the right level of saltiness.

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Nick, thanks for the comments.

Just tried a couple of turkey legs over the weekend as they are $5 per kilogram. Brined them for about 3-4 hours then washed, bagged with duck fat from last confit and cooked sous vide at 79 degrees C for 10 hours. Had them last night as a ragu with thinly sliced sauteed carrots on fettucini and it was fantastic. Not too salty but fantastic flavour. Having the leftovers for lunch today at work :biggrin:

Thanks for the input and I will be confiting more and more depending on the availability of duck parts.

Simon

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