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Confit Duck

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Thanks so much Rob! That's what I was hoping to pay for it, and that was one place I never thought to call. I still wish I could find goose fat -- maybe some day -- but I'm going to call and order the duck fat next week.

Cheers!

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Thanks so much Rob! That's what I was hoping to pay for it, and that was one place I never thought to call. I still wish I could find goose fat -- maybe some day -- but I'm going to call and order the duck fat next week.

Cheers!

Good for you! Make sure to call and ask for the 5# pail, it's not listed on the website.

While you're at it (and as long as you're already paying the shipping) order a magret breast and make duck prosciutto, very easy and delicious.

Rob

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Thanks so much Rob! That's what I was hoping to pay for it, and that was one place I never thought to call. I still wish I could find goose fat -- maybe some day -- but I'm going to call and order the duck fat next week.

Cheers!

Roast a goose, you'll end up with about 1.5 litres of fat. You should still be able to find a goose about now, As many are slaughtered for Xmas. Phone around.

But, fair warning, once you've had a goose, you'll never make turkey at Xmas again.

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This topic has got me wanting to make Duck Confit so badly. Has anyone made Goose Confit. I saw that someone above said that they had made it out of Pheasant do you have a recipe for this? Thanks for all the inspiration and tips in this thread.

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Sorry for digging up this old thread. There is much good info here that it is making me go crosseyed.

 

LOML picked up 8 duck legs at Le Marais, so I guess I'm making duck confit on Friday.

 

I need to make some decisions.

Should I use Thomas Keller or Joel Robuchon's recipe? 

Should cook it in my enamel dutch oven or sous vide?

If I'm cooking it in the oven, should I cook them with the convection feature on? 

Will schmaltz work? (I have a gallon bag of chicken skin in the freezer that needs to be rendered)

 

 

 

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Having done it several ways, I would very much recommend doing confit en sous vide.  After a quick cure, bag each leg separately with perhaps 1 tbsp of fat.  Then when they're done, chill them in ice water and throw most of them in the freezer.  Now any time you want you can take one (or more) of the legs out of the freezer, toss it in a water bath, and perhaps half an hour later have it good to go.  The quality of sous vide confit is very good once you dial in time & temp that you prefer.

 

Although I don't have the book, my notes indicate that Keller calls for cooking the duck legs en sous vide 8h @ 180degF, which is a great place to start.  I have never had much luck going "lower for longer" on the confit; you want relatively high temperature.

 

You can easily use chicken fat, but surely duck fat will taste better - never tried that.  I always get my legs from butchering whole ducks, and can easily render enough extra fat off each carcass to confit its own legs in a vacuum bag.

 

If you're doing it in the oven, you'll need much more fat to submerge the legs in the traditional manner.  If you purchased only legs and don't want to add the significant cost for a lot of store-bought duck fat, I can understand the attraction of the schmaltz.  Try it out and let me know how it goes!  There is no point in turning on the convection fan, though, if you're cooking in a dutch oven... the air won't really circulate down in there.  Usually you use convection for shallow trays of cookies etc., or else other foods elevated above the pan on a rack to expose them to the full fury of the whirlwind.
 

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When I've cooked duck legs in fat in a 225 degF oven, it's taken me more like 5 hours.  Maybe the foil helps it steam and cook quicker?  Or maybe I just like my confit more broken down... I usually wind up shredding it into gumbo, not plating it as a dish.  Right sir, steam-baked confit will have to be done.  For science.

 

I'm somewhat skeptical of salting the legs and tossing them straight in the oven, though.  No way they've cured properly before cooking.

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Salt lightly, thyme sprig, 2 tbsp of duck fat...cook sous vide. Just so foolproof.

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3 hours ago, gfweb said:

Salt lightly, thyme sprig, 2 tbsp of duck fat...cook sous vide. Just so foolproof.

 

Plus maybe a slice of orange zest ...

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Bumping this old thread up, as I have a question about duck confit. I've been gifted seven wild ducks; two mallards, sizeable, and five smaller ducks, probably teal or wood duck. I've plucked pinfeathers, salted and stuck in the fridge to cure. I plan to confit the entire duck for the smaller ones, and probably smoke the mallard breasts (which are close to the size of a small Pekin breast, but with very little fat, of course). 

 

My question is this: My duck went in the fridge in the dry brine about 15 minutes ago. How long should I cure it to take care of some of the "wild" taste? I plan to do the confit in the SV; I have frozen duck fat I'll thaw and add to the bags, since they have so little. Would I be well-served to SV the mallard breasts prior to smoking, to get a little tenderness going there, as wild duck is decidedly chewier than the tame variety?

 

Anyone out there with any experience with confiting wild ducks? My only cooking experience with them has been braising breasts, or making duck gumbo. (I can, btw, make some FINE duck gumbo.)

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

Anyone out there with any experience with confiting wild ducks?

This is a very reliable site that might give you some help. 

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15 minutes ago, Anna N said:

This is a very reliable site that might give you some help. 

 

What a great web site, Anna.  Thanks for that link!

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6 hours ago, Anna N said:

This is a very reliable site that might give you some help. 

 

Thanks, Anna. I should have looked at his site before I asked. I'll go ahead and start them tomorrow, instead of waiting until Monday. They've been in the fridge curing since noonish today.

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Update on the duck situation:

 

I did wind up waiting until today to deal with the ducks (life got in the way, as life has a way of doing), so I can only hope they are not too salty.

 

If anyone's interested in the whole painful (not really) process:

5a824a85720f7_ducksplain.jpg.85ba3d7b38735f123ec5c54a95ce9f67.jpg

 

First, I was faced with ducks with a horde of pinfeathers. At left are the two mallards; the five at right are either teal or wood duck. It having been many years since I was faced with removing pinfeathers from a duck I betook myself to the Interwebs and reviewed the potential methods. I did not have a gas stove nor a blowtorch (must remedy that) to singe them. I didn't feel like tweezing them all. So I opted for a combo of paraffin and scalding.

 

paraffin.jpg.4c48e6beb21b5ed8960505a60c2401e9.jpg

Paraffin, melting in the Dutch oven.

 

brined.jpg.fc96b7eb255071033cb1f23e105e1b48.jpg

 

I apparently missed taking a photo of the mostly naked ducks, but the paraffin/scalding method worked a treat. Here they are salted down with a salt-sugar-thyme brine, ready for the fridge.

 

As I noted, life got in the way and they stayed there very nearly 48 hours. I rinsed them well, and repeatedly, and let the small ones rest on a rack while the mallard breasts went back to the fridge for an overnight dry-out on a separate rack. They'll go on the smoker in the morning.

 

bagged.jpg.06b85d848f837232fef875f933f29423.jpg

And here we are, ready to go in the sous vide bath, with the addition of some sliced shallot, a couple of garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves and some duck fat. They're swimming along now, and will do so until sometime tomorrow morning, when I take them out and chill them preparatory to going in the freezer. 

 

I have found a source in Little Rock for Toulouse sausages, and as I have to go there Tuesday anyway, I'll pick some up. I'm looking at cassoulet (there being no shortage of pork belly or salt pork  or pork shoulder here in Jonesboro) very possibly next weekend.

 

Damn, I hope this sous vide confit thing works.

 

 

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