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Confit Duck

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I believe that my ducks are Long Island ducks. How long will those take? And at what oven temp should I use?

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Pekin aka Asian aka Long Island ducks do not take as much time as moulards or muscovy ducks to cook. If you plan to make confit for cassoulet I guess you could go for a higher temperature and shorter time as Bourdain suggests. I usually tear up the confit before placing it in my cassoulet and it wouldn't make much difference.

On the other hand, I like to serve confit with sauteed potatoes and a salad which I do a lot more often than serving cassoulet. I think a slower approach is really important to obtain a flesh that is very succulent and a skin that is crackling crisp.

In south west France it is very rare to use Muscovy duck(canard de barbarie) for confit; it is more often slow roasted. The reason I'm trying to make confit with muscovy duck thighs and legs is due to culinary bear making it sound so appealing.

How long to cook the Asian aka Pekin aka Long Island ducks? I would try to maintain a temperature between 192° to 210F, but no higher, adjusting the setting as necessary, for 1 to 2 hours, or until a toothpick pierces the thickest part of thigh easily. Remove the pot from the heat and let the duck legs cool in the fat for 1 hour. The total time is about 3 hours on top of the stove.

The crock pot is perfect for cooking confit but takes a little longer than the oven or stove top. Figure 1 hour to come up to temperature, 1 to 2 to cook, and another to cool down.Mind you, some crock pots have better temperature controls than others. So be sure to test after 3 hours.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

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Per Paula's advice, I have my legs sitting in a Le Creuset on my simmer burner, with a thermometer stuck into the pot. If the temp goes below 192 or above 210, the thermometer is set to ring.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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I have a jar of duck foie gras in the fridge also covered in fat, do you think the same holds true? I'd like to have some on new years eve but I know we won't eat it all! will I be able to just take what I need and cover the rest and use it within a few weeks?

Also I'm making the cassoulet too and just confit'ed my duck legs. Les Halles called for cooking them at 375F for 1 hour. This is much different. What are your thoughts on that?

In an ideal world, yes, you should be able to recover and use it within a short period of time. Just keep an eye out for discolouration, off-smells, the usual signs of spoilage.

I like Tony Bourdain. Really, I do. I plan to buy the man prodigious amounts of Manchester bitter if he comes over to the city again. I have never heard of a recipe for confiting duck at such a high temperature for so short a time, which perhaps says more about me than that recipe. My gut instinct is that you wouldn't get tenderness cooking it at that temp for that time, but I may be wrong.

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Bloody hell, seven new posts in the time it takes me to reply? I must be getting slow in my old age.

Paula, where have you been all my (culinary) life? I do feel unfit to bask in your glowing culinary radiance. :)

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This is a fantastic topic. Thanks to everyone who has posted here.

The duck and fat for my confit (for the cassoulet on another topic, the link for which I'm too tired to paste in right now) is ready to go for tomorrow -- but my duck fat isn't pearly white. It's got a slight brownish tinge from the cracklings (most of which actually made it into the fridge instead of me belly!). I'm assuming that the state of the duck fat won't destroy the confit, especially if I cook the duck at a lower temp for a longer time, yes? Please, oh, please, yes??

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Ok, this is what I did today with 4 muscovy duck legs (total weight 2/34 pounds) via grimaud farms.

They had been marinated overnight with Diamond Crystal salt\ 22 grams per pound and a few thyme sprigs, bay leaves, brusied peppercorns, and sliced shallots.

This morning I rinsed off the excess and placed them in my crockpot. Added about 3 cups duck fat and turned the heat to low. It took 4 hours to arrive at 191 degrees (next time I will use high;I am sure I can reduce the time to 1 hour) and then let it cook, partially covered, for 2 1/2 hours. They were tender and didn't tighten up which would certainly have happened with higher heat. I left them for about 1/2 hour to cool down before lifting them out and layering them in a wide boxd covered with pure fat. Tonight I will store them in the fridge. I believe in 'aged' confit(to quote my son "confit like wine and women is better aged") so don't expect me to post a taste test for AT LEAST A WEEK

stay tuned.

PS It might take 3 hours to cook if I push the heat on the onset.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

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The duck and fat for my confit (for the cassoulet on another topic, the link for which I'm too tired to paste in right now) is ready to go for tomorrow -- but my duck fat isn't pearly white. It's got a slight brownish tinge from the cracklings (most of which actually made it into the fridge instead of me belly!). I'm assuming that the state of the duck fat won't destroy the confit, especially if I cook the duck at a lower temp for a longer time, yes? Please, oh, please, yes??

If you did burn the fat then it won't deliver a good confit. On the other hand, I would go ahead and cook the duck in it if it is just slightly browned. Better not to use it for storage or for another round because it is no longer a healthy fat/

I went to the other thread and now I understand the problem. You were using muscovy duck skin and whatever fat you could find on and around the duck flesh. That is hard to do since it is so lean. You really need to add other fat. Or add a little water when rendering to encourage 'fat run' . THink of it as priming a pump.

I used stored duck fat that I had in the fridge.

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I don't think I burned it; rather, I think that some of the cracklings got dark and colored it. Could be wrong, though....

So, as for other fat: clarified butter? Or... what?

Thanks!

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You can use olive oil to top off the fat, if needed.

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Couple of questions....

I plan on shredding the meat of two legs for a salad tomorrow night. Should I store them in the fat?

The legs rendered something off, normally I would say it looks like fat, but of course they cooked in fat. Should I strain the duck fat before pouring what I need over the legs?

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I don't think I burned it; rather, I think that some of the cracklings got dark and colored it. Could be wrong, though....

So, as for other fat: clarified butter? Or... what?

Thanks!

For the next time, buy some rendered duck fat from d'artagnan. Another way is to get yourself some Pekin or moulard ducks and make more confit and keep the fat going. You can mix duck fat with pork or butcher's lard as well.

Muscovy ducks are extremely tasty birds and are delicious roasted, sauteed and braised. They are not my first or second choice for making confit mainly because they are so lean.

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Couple of questions....

I plan on shredding the meat of two legs for a salad tomorrow night.  Should I store them in the fat?

The legs rendered something off, normally I would say it looks like fat, but of course they cooked in fat.  Should I strain the duck fat before pouring what I need over the legs?

What kind of ducks did you use? I store confit in fat for storage. If you plan to eat it tomorrow just be sure to cover the flesh completely so it won't lose its silky texture.

Do by all means strain out the debris. Keep it to flavor salad dressing, stew or soup.

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Couple of questions....

I plan on shredding the meat of two legs for a salad tomorrow night.  Should I store them in the fat?

The legs rendered something off, normally I would say it looks like fat, but of course they cooked in fat.  Should I strain the duck fat before pouring what I need over the legs?

What kind of ducks did you use? I store confit in fat for storage. If you plan to eat it tomorrow just be sure to cover the flesh completely so it won't lose its silky texture.

Do by all means strain out the debris. Keep it to flavor salad dressing, stew or soup.

I used Long Island ducks. Per your instructions, I did them on the range-top. The heat kept a steady 207F. But, I lost track of time, and they "simmered" for about 4 1/2 hours.

Another question...I have some additional duck fat in the freezer. Can I just combine my extra from the confit with that stash? Or should I freeze it separately? I'm running out of room in my freezer and am trying to consolidate.

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Another question...I have some additional duck fat in the freezer. Can I just combine my extra from the confit with that stash? Or should I freeze it separately? I'm running out of room in my freezer and am trying to consolidate.

--------------------

Yes, you can combine.

I usually reheat strained fat with a few tablespoons water and bring it almost a boil then let it cool completely before discarding the water. The fat keeps longer that way in the refrigerator or freezer.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

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For the next time, buy some rendered duck fat from d'artagnan. Another way is to get yourself some Pekin or moulard ducks and make more confit and keep the fat going.  You can mix duck fat with pork or butcher's lard as well.

Muscovy ducks are extremely tasty birds and are delicious roasted, sauteed and braised. They are not my first or second choice for making confit mainly because they are so lean.

Thanks. I was trying to get this dish done in the space of this week between Xmas and New Years (when I'm off work), and thus had to make do with what I could easily obtain. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any duck around here save the Muscovy, which I knew was an inadequate substitution. It sounds like I can forge ahead, admitting that it won't be perfect, with the addition you suggest. Next time, though....

Edited to add: I used the Saveur Cooks Authentic French recipe for confit to render the fat from the skin, and that clearly was a mistake. About two hours in, I realized from reading on this thread that 3 1/2 hours at 350 risked burning the fat, so I turned it down... too late. :sad:

Onward! And thanks again!


Edited by chrisamirault (log)

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Re: storing extra rendered fat

As long as it is well strained, and all the extra moisture has been removed (as from clarified butter), it can keep for many months in a tightly closed jar in the fridge. Just be sure to use a perfectly clean implement whenever you take some out.

At least, mine did, when I still had extra. (But now my problem is running out of room in the fridge!) :rolleyes:

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Sous vide is a great way to make meat confit. You marinate the duck, or other meat as you would normally. However to cook it, you do it differently - you seal the meat and fat in vacuum bags (like foodsaver, or professional models), and cook it in a water bath, or steam oven. The advantage is that you control the temperature very well, and you need very little of the fat because the vacuum bag keeps it sealed around the meat.

It is also easier to clean because the fat stays sealed in the vacuum bag.

There is a whole thread on sous vide techniques elswhere on egullet.

I have not personally made duck confit this way, but I have had it made by others and it is excellent.

Last night I made pork confit and lamb shank confit. The texture of the meat comes out similar to duck confit. I cook it in a laborarory water bath (basically like a slow cooker, but with better temperautre control) for 12 hours at 180 degrees F.

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Sous vide is a great way to make meat confit.  You marinate the duck, or other meat as you would normally.  However to cook it, you do it differently - you seal the meat and fat in vacuum bags (like foodsaver, or professional models), and cook it in a water bath, or steam oven.  The advantage is that you control the temperature very well, and you need very little of the fat because the vacuum bag keeps it sealed around the meat.

It is also easier to clean because the fat stays sealed in the vacuum bag.

There is a whole thread on sous vide techniques elswhere on egullet.

I have not personally made duck confit this way, but I have had it made by others and it is excellent.

Last night I made pork confit and lamb shank confit.  The texture of the meat comes out similar to duck confit.   I cook it in a laborarory water bath (basically like a slow cooker, but with better temperautre control) for 12 hours at 180 degrees F.

I think doing it in a sealed bag is absolutely brilliant. I just don't see why the timing is so long. I use a slow cooker with a polder thermometer and monitor the temperature of the fat on LOW and it takes no more than 3 hours to cook a duck leg. Pork does take longer. Have you ever removed one after ---say--- 5 hours and checked the texture?l

Do you cool it down in the water bath as well?


Edited by Wolfert (log)

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It would probably would be done after 5 hours - I will have to check. Typically I let it go at least 8 hours because I tend to cook it overnight. I am trying the pork at both 8 hours and 12 hours - will let you know the difference.

The time for heat to penetrate goes like the square of the thickness - so a piece of food twice as thick takes 4 times as long to reach the same internal temperature. In addition, you want it to set at temperature for a while for collagen to denature into gelatine etc. Duck legs/thighs are thinner than a big piece of pork butt, so that is a big factor.

To cool it down, I plunge the bags into ice water. This cools it very rapidly. Then I refridgerate them, still int he bags. The bags stay sealed until I am ready to use the meat. This adds vacuum packing to the traditional way of sealing in fat.

To reheat you can put them back into a water bath, or use a microwave, or not at all if you want to use cold. I usually sear it so that the outside gets crispy...

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It would probably would be done after 5 hours - I will have to check.   Typically I let it go at least 8  hours because I tend to cook it overnight.   I am trying the pork at both 8 hours and 12 hours - will let you know the difference.

The time for heat to penetrate goes like the square of the thickness - so a piece of food twice as thick takes 4 times as long to reach the same internal temperature.  In addition, you want it to set at temperature for a while for collagen to denature into gelatine etc.   Duck legs/thighs are thinner than a big piece of pork butt, so that is a big factor.

To cool it down, I plunge the bags into ice water.  This cools it very rapidly.  Then I refridgerate them, still int he bags.  The bags stay sealed until I am ready to use the meat.  This adds vacuum packing to the traditional way of sealing in fat.

To reheat you can put them back into a water bath, or use a microwave, or not at all if you want to use cold.  I usually sear it so that the outside gets crispy...

I think I 'm beginning to understand. Also, if the water rises and stabilizes at 180 degrees it doesn't mean the fat has risen to 180 at the very same time. Could that be a factor?


Edited by Wolfert (log)

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How do you store the finished product? On the bone or off? What about the skin?

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I want to thank Culinary Bear for inspiring me. And Paula for her coaching.

The confit was outstanding!!! I shredded the meat from two legs and served them on a bed of mesculun dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The sharpness of the balsamic contrasted nicely with the richness of the duck. My friends were all very impressed.

(I saved the skin for future crisping for a snack for myself). I have two more legs and I don't think I will want to share. :laugh:

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To cool it down, I plunge the bags into ice water.  This cools it very rapidly.  Then I refridgerate them, still int he bags.  The bags stay sealed until I am ready to use the meat.  This adds vacuum packing to the traditional way of sealing in fat.

I wonder if flavor develops during the aging process.

Bloviatrik: I am so happy to read your results. Good you kept the rest for yourself.

Here's a tip: when you fry up the skin do it in a heavy tasteless oil so that you can really get a crisp skin. Then place it on a rack or crumbled paper bag from the supermarket to drain.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

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is the fat that rises to the top of duck stock considered "rendered?" do i need to do anything else to it before i use it for confit? (i have some other duck fat, but don't want to waste this!)

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