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Duck Confit


guajolote
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I have my legs salted and am rendering the fat from the trimmings. It doesn't look like I'll have enough fat to cover the legs. What should I use for the rest of the fat?

Schmaltz?

Olive Oil?

Clarirified Butter?

Or where can I buy duck fat in Chicago?

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have seen roux brothers recipes where they just top up with water... but yes most other fats would probably be preferable!

annoying though, that one carcass yields just-not-enough-fat to do its two legs! Maybe try cutting them into thights and drumsticks so the will fit tighter in the pan and use less fat?

J

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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How's the confit coming along, Dean?

It's going great, as I said the thighs/legs are salted. The fat is rendered and I'm eating duck cracklings. I'm going to smoke the boobs for dinner. I'm going to add my schmaltz to the fat tomorrow to make the confit (thanks for the google/chowhound help :raz: ). Maybe I'll save the confit for the paella party.

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How's the confit coming along, Dean?

It's going great, as I said the thighs/legs are salted. The fat is rendered and I'm eating duck cracklings. I'm going to smoke the boobs for dinner. I'm going to add my schmaltz to the fat tomorrow to make the confit (thanks for the google/chowhound help :raz: ). Maybe I'll save the confit for the paella party.

Good luck with it & keep reporting. (Mmmmmm, cracklings!)

As far as the Googling, I figured you might be busy & didn't have time. :smile:

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well, this won't help now, since you're already at the point of cooking, but i've made some pretty darn good confit myself using my crock pot set on low, the trimmings from the duck, and plain old lard/crisco. lard's a bit stronger in taste than i'd like; crisco's rather neutral, but i'd not recommend using olive oil.....that's even stronger.

next time, try looking at dartagnan.com or hudson valley foie gras (can't recall the web site url exactly). they sell tubs of frozen, rendered duck fat.....i've got 4 in my freezer from the last go-round at this point from hudson valley. plus, dartagnan sells some absolutely yummy mushrooms (fresh or dried....i like the chantrelles or the porcini.....the morels were too dry when they arrived).

matt

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The confit just finished. I added about 4 oz of schmaltz to the duck fat while cooking. When I put the confit in the fridge to cool, there wasn't quite enough fat to submerge the legs/thighs so I poured in 2 more oz. of olive oil. I'll let you know how it turned out in a month.

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have seen roux brothers recipes where they just top up with water...

I'm really curious about that now. Should work, since the fat would just float on top anyway. But would the flavor in the meat not be diluted? More info, please. Do you have a reference?

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Just checked back; its in French Country Cooking (1989)

Actually looking at the recipe the amount of water is relatively small (500g lard, 1kg duck fat, 100ml water) so maybe its to help the mixture melt in rather than for topping up. But its a bit funny as I think its the only confit recipe I've seen where there are refs to putting water in

cheerio

J

Edited by Jon Tseng (log)
More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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I have my legs salted and am rendering the fat from the trimmings. It doesn't look like I'll have enough fat to cover the legs. What should I use for the rest of the fat?

Schmaltz?

Olive Oil?

Clarirified Butter?

Or where can I buy duck fat in Chicago?

Take the seasoned/rendered legs with about 6 tablespoons of duck fat and place each one indiviually on a large piece of plastic wrap.

Wrap it up in about 4 separate layers of plastic wrap.

Tie each package with kitchen string.

Poach all of the packeages in water that is just below simmering for about 3 hours or until fork tender.

Confit duck leg using little duck fat. It will even be a lot more flavorful than the usual technique. Its a pseudo - sous vide method and it works quite well if you dont have one of these.

Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Good truc, invento.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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The best confit is made from long cooking at well below 100 C. The water helps to keep the temperature down by latent heat of evaporation.

I don't use it, but I will add some if the temp is going too high.

By the way, I get good control, and a nice result, by putting the whole pan in the oven.

The references to 'get the oil to boiling' are always amusing. Oil will ignite long before it boils.

It means get it to a temperature where bubbles are coming off the meat at a fair pace; around the boiling point of water.

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If you use the technique above, the accountability to human error is reduced greatly. Because the temperature of "just below simmering water" is around 135f, the temperature inside the bag where little or no water is present will be well below that. Even if you accidently boil the water, the oil inside the pouches will remain well below the temperature of oil in a pot using the oven method at the ovens lowest setting of 200F. The other variable in the oven method is how much flavor are you losing with an unsealed container? When the pouch method is used, you lose no flavor at all. If you cool the legs in the pouch, the cooling and contracting (things contract and absorb when they cool) process causes the confit oil to shoot back into the legs. Any flavor from herbs that are added to the bags during the cooking process are kept where they belong, inside the bag and inside the legs.

Bottom line:

Try both methods for yourself, use it for braising meats, confit leeks, buttermilk poached pheasant breast or whatever, skys the limit. You will find "pouch cooking" can replace so many other now obselete techniques. If you need another reason to try using it consider this:

what clean-up is left after poaching a pouch?

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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...the temperature of "just below simmering water" is around 135f, the temperature inside the bag where little or no water is present will be well below that.

Are you sure about this temperature, inventolux?

I'd be wary of chicken cooked only to 135F, and especially wary if it was held there for a long time. It's a wonderful environment for growing bacteria.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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...the temperature of "just below simmering water" is around 135f, the temperature inside the bag where little or no water is present will be well below that.

Are you sure about this temperature, inventolux?

I'd be wary of chicken cooked only to 135F, and especially wary if it was held there for a long time. It's a wonderful environment for growing bacteria.

You must consider what is extracted when any water containing product(chicken is around 80% water) is heated above 120f. Steam is produced and that is the unforeseen element in the bag that does most of the cooking. The beauty of the bag technique is if you werent cooking inside a sealed environment, the steam would evaporate and you would lose flavor. Anyone who says steam doesnt have flavor, doesnt know what they are talking about. Thats what we smell wonderful things when we cook delicious meals at home. Steam DOES have flavor. And steam is amost always hotter than boiling water depending on its density. Even if the water temperature is only 135f. There are many reactions happening inside the pouch, steam is only one of many.

If you have ever recieved a steam burn, you know the hard way that steam can be much hotter than water. An extreme example would be the steam tip on an espresso/cappucino maker. The water to create the steam frother isnt actually boiling, its under pressure in a sealed environment. The pouch technique is a much less extreme situation but still follows the same basic principles.

The chicken example is a good one. Try this recipe, we used it at CT's and nobody ever got sick.

Take 1 chicken breast and season it with S&P

Place onto plastic wrap

Pour 6 tb buttermilk onto chix

Add 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1/2 diced shallot, 2 slices of lemon peel, and 2 sprigs of thyme

wrap up 4 to 6 times and tie with kitchen string like a roast

Poach at 135f for 25 to 30 minutes

Let rest for 5 minutes.

Perfectly cooked chicken

Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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And steam is amost always hotter than boiling water depending on its density. Even if the water temperature is only 135f. There are many reactions happening inside the pouch, steam is only one of many.

If you have ever recieved a steam burn, you know the hard way that steam can be much hotter than water. An extreme example would be the steam tip on an espresso/cappucino maker.

Steam is produced by the transformation of water from liquid to gaseous state. At sea level, this only happens at 212F/100C. It doesn't happen at any lower temperature, unless you reduce the atmosphere (head in to the mountains). You're not making steam (at least steam from water) at 135F. Sorry.

What you're seeing in your sealed pouch is an environment that's heated much higher than the water around it, system under pressure, molecules colliding at high rate, that sort of thing.

By definition, steam is always hotter than water. If it weren't, it wouldn't be steam, but rather water!

Pressure does have an effect on the temperature of steam. The temperature of produced steam under no pressure is 212F. It then increases 3 degrees F per additional pound of pressure (sorry, can't do the metric conversions in my head), so at 3psi, steam is 218F. Steam coming out of an espresso/cappucino machine is going to be hotter than 212, though I'm skeptical that you can tell the difference between 212F and 225F with your hand.

As for steam having "flavor", I think what you're smelling are the chemicals released by the cooking food being mixed in and carried with the steam.

Edited by mcdowell (log)
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Steam doesn't have flavor, it's the gaseous state of water. There may well be other chemicals that are volatized, and these may well have flavor.

However who is going to separate these chemicals that are volitized (that do have flavor) from the natural vaporized h2o(that dilutes flavor)? They combined, for the sake of simplicity for cooking puposes, make up steam.

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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They combined, for the sake of simplicity for cooking puposes, make up steam.

No they don't. As I said before, steam is the gaseous state of water.

The water phase curve is quite complicated, especially if you use variable pressures. For example, on a sunny day in the winter snow can sublimate directly into water vapor (steam). Here's a general example:

phase.gif

Edited by guajolote (log)
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