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Confit Duck


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I just ran across a crock of duck confit in the back of my fridge that I put up last Dec- it looks fine and has always been refrigerated, should I worry it's too old?

Wendy,

Under refrigeration, duck confit improves for at least six months. You should have no problems.

At worst, your nose will know!

It is always a good idea to sprinkle a little salt in the bottom of a container that will receive the confit. This eliminates spoilage problems with liquids that drop to the bottom of the container.

Tim

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  • 1 month later...

I saw a big tray of 10 turkey legs at the grocery store, didn't buy it but wondered . . . what would a traditional leg confit be like with turkey?

Has anybody tried this?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I saw a big tray of 10 turkey legs at the grocery store, didn't buy it but wondered . . . what would a traditional leg confit be like with turkey?

Has anybody tried this?

I made confit of turkey thighs last Thanksgiving. They took a little longer to poach in the fat than do duck legs, but the result was absolutely ethereal.

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I saw a big tray of 10 turkey legs at the grocery store, didn't buy it but wondered . . . what would a traditional leg confit be like with turkey?

Has anybody tried this?

I made confit of turkey thighs last Thanksgiving. They took a little longer to poach in the fat than do duck legs, but the result was absolutely ethereal.

That sounds promising, thanks.

So no drumsticks? You used goose fat?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

A little bump on this thread, as I'm in the process of confiting 12 lbs. of Moulard legs.

I have a couple of questions, and the first one concerns this from Paula in response to a poster who was wondering about the amount of salt to use.

This is how I've worked it out for my upcoming revision of the FSW

Note the differences in weight between common salts in the marketplace.

* 1 tablespoon fine table salt equals 21 grams

*1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt equals 17 grams

* 1 tablespoon imported  Maldon sea salt equals 14 grams

* 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt and imported Grey Sea Salt from the Ile de Re  equals 12 grams

In the new CSF, the recipe for traditional confit is a cure of 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt per pound of duck...or 8 grams per pound...is this a number anyone has used?

Secondly, I was wondering about storage. Can the legs be sealed (say, 2 to a bag) using a Food Saver and then either refrigerated or frozen?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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So, I had lots of confit going (12 large moulard legs, to be exact):

gallery_6902_5187_348304.jpg

And, I'm still wondering what the benefits/drawbacks are of storing in Food Saver bags, versus other methods? Or if it's even acceptable to use vacuum packing for home storage in the refrigerator? I know that D'artagnan sells confit legs packed this way, albeit with commercial vacuum storage vs. the Food Saver's end product; does Food Saver do as good a job?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Sure, you can seal it. The trick with a Food Saver is going to be figuring out how to deal with the liquid that'll come off the duck. If the fat seeps into the seal -- and duck fat seeps like nothing else -- it'll break very quickly. I've fiddled around with folded paper toweling at the top of the bag below the seal, and that works if there's just a bit of liquid.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It would seem to me the benefit is being able to just pull out a leg or two at a time, instead of having to store it potted and warm/pull it out when needed.

I don't think that preservation is really the reason, since a potted meat (in theory) should keep for a long long time.

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During the confit "aging" process (i.e. the time the duck spends in the big vat of solidified fat), the duck's flavor actually goes through various changes...I wonder if that's the case when it's vacuum packed, as theoretically almost all of the air has been removed.

I wonder if double-sealing (that is, sealing in a first bag, and then sealing again in a slightly larger bag) might not solve the potential problem of duck fat seepage.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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During the confit "aging" process (i.e. the time the duck spends in the big vat of solidified fat), the duck's flavor actually goes through various changes...I wonder if that's the case when it's vacuum packed, as theoretically almost all of the air has been removed.

But if you've potted it correctly, there should be no air in the container, either. So I don't think air is at issue.

I wonder if double-sealing (that is, sealing in a first bag, and then sealing again in a slightly larger bag) might not solve the potential problem of duck fat seepage.

That'd do it, I think.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have another question. I've got two confit legs, buried in fat that I made a year ago. They smell fine, have no greeny-parts, but I'm a bit nervous about eating them. Should I eat or toss? And if I eat them, should I steam them for a while not only to remove the fat but to make sure they're okay?

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I have another question.  I've got two confit legs, buried in fat that I made a year ago. They smell fine, have no greeny-parts, but I'm a bit nervous about eating them.  Should I eat or toss?  And if I eat them, should I steam them for a while not only to remove the fat but to make sure they're okay?

For safety, all long stored confit should be heated through before serving, even for dishes to be served cold or at room temperature.

Simply steam the confit for 10 to 15 minutes, then immediately remove any superfluous fat; place the duck, in a skillet to brown and crisp.

Steaming makes the flesh of confit silkier.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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A little bump on this thread, as I'm in the process of confiting 12 lbs. of Moulard legs.

I have a couple of questions, and the first one concerns this from Paula in response to a poster who was wondering about the amount of salt to use.

This is how I've worked it out for my upcoming revision of the FSW

Note the differences in weight between common salts in the marketplace.

* 1 tablespoon fine table salt equals 21 grams

*1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt equals 17 grams

* 1 tablespoon imported  Maldon sea salt equals 14 grams

* 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt and imported Grey Sea Salt from the Ile de Re  equals 12 grams

In the new CSF, the recipe for traditional confit is a cure of 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt per pound of duck...or 8 grams per pound...is this a number anyone has used?

Secondly, I was wondering about storage. Can the legs be sealed (say, 2 to a bag) using a Food Saver and then either refrigerated or frozen?

Yes, 2 teaspoons kosher salt per pound of trimmed duck leg.

I have made confit of duck in a food saver bag and kept it a few days, but never longer. A home vacuum packing system, such as food saver, rather than a professional chefs' system is not a hundred percent safe. More sophisticated machines allow chefs to keep refrigerated confit in pouches in the refrigerator for months.

By the way, if, for whatever reason, a refrigerated pouch of recently cooked confit begins to puff up, discard it at once.

You can bag confit of duck legs using a food saver, but be sure to freeze it for long term storage.

If you are worried about the lack of salt, then by all means freeze the confit..

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Yes,  2 teaspoons kosher salt per pound of trimmed duck leg.

I have made confit of duck in a food saver bag and  kept it a few days, but never longer. A home vacuum packing system, such as food saver, rather than a professional chefs' system is not a hundred percent safe. More sophisticated machines allow chefs to keep refrigerated confit in pouches in the refrigerator for months.

By the way, if, for whatever reason, a refrigerated pouch of recently cooked confit begins to puff up, discard it at once.

You can bag confit of  duck legs using a food saver, but be sure to freeze it for long term storage.

If you are worried about the lack of salt, then by all means freeze the confit..

Awesome - thanks for taking the time to answer, Paula :smile: .

Since I've found a good outlet for beautiful Moulard duck legs, close to where I live (Chinatown), I think I may be making confit on a regular basis.

For NYC dwellers, Bo Bo Poultry Market on Grand St., appears to be a great source.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Sure, you can seal it. The trick with a Food Saver is going to be figuring out how to deal with the liquid that'll come off the duck. If the fat seeps into the seal -- and duck fat seeps like nothing else -- it'll break very quickly. I've fiddled around with folded paper toweling at the top of the bag below the seal, and that works if there's just a bit of liquid.

If you can (ie have room), I'd pack the confit and some fat in the bags, not seal, fold back the tops of the bags, refrigerate to harden the fat, THEN seal. I did this with some braised short ribs that had the gelatinous juices attached that I didn't want to lose/get sucked out/ruin the seal, etc. It worked great.

I made confit about 20 years ago. Don't freak, I ate it after 6 months and a year, and it was amazing. I'm pretty sure it was Paula Wolfert's recipe too. I remember the salt-in-the-jar comment.

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Sure, you can seal it. The trick with a Food Saver is going to be figuring out how to deal with the liquid that'll come off the duck. If the fat seeps into the seal -- and duck fat seeps like nothing else -- it'll break very quickly. I've fiddled around with folded paper toweling at the top of the bag below the seal, and that works if there's just a bit of liquid.

If you can (ie have room), I'd pack the confit and some fat in the bags, not seal, fold back the tops of the bags, refrigerate to harden the fat, THEN seal. I did this with some braised short ribs that had the gelatinous juices attached that I didn't want to lose/get sucked out/ruin the seal, etc. It worked great.

I made confit about 20 years ago. Don't freak, I ate it after 6 months and a year, and it was amazing. I'm pretty sure it was Paula Wolfert's recipe too. I remember the salt-in-the-jar comment.

Cool idea - I did put a few of the confited legs into a container in the fridge right away, without covering them with the fat - I then sealed and froze, after they had hardened overnight, so I didn't have any of the seepage...seems to have worked out okay.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Last night at about 11p I put 8 legs in the oven and let them confit while sleeping. The forst hour was spent drinking scotch and checking temperature, I settled on about 195 degrees "F". Before doing all this I made the salt mixture from French Laundry book except I forgot to put peppercorn in? The day was pretty hectic and I had salted these the day before so I think the salt cure stayed on too long, about 16 hours. I tried my best to rinse them well before putting them into the duck fat. Anyway, about 6 am I woke up and checked the legs only to decide to let them stay awhile longer. I tried to catch a little more sleep but my 2 year old had different plans. So around 7 I took the legs out and started deboning 4 of them for some cassoulet that I will be making Christmas day in order to serve on wednesday. The meat had a little firmness, yet still came off the bone nicely. Although they were a tad too salty I really enjoyed the intermittant morsels while picking(isn't it great to be the chef?).

So I strained the fat through a relatively fine strainer but have a watery substance at the bottom of the jars. Do I need to remove the watery substance?

Edited by jscarbor (log)
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Last night at about 11p I put 8 legs in the oven and let them confit while sleeping. The forst hour was spent drinking scotch and checking temperature, I settled on about 195 degrees "F". Before doing all this I made the salt mixture from French Laundry book except I forgot to put peppercorn in? The day was pretty hectic and I had salted these the day before so I think the salt cure stayed on too long, about 16 hours. I tried my best to rinse them well before putting them into the duck fat. Anyway, about 6 am I woke up and checked the legs only to decide to let them stay awhile longer. I tried to catch a little more sleep but my 2 year old had different plans. So around 7 I took the legs out and started deboning 4 of them for some cassoulet that I will be making Christmas day in order to serve on wednesday. The meat had a little firmness, yet still came off the bone nicely. Although they were a tad too salty I really enjoyed the intermittant morsels while picking(isn't it great to be the chef?).

So I strained the fat through a relatively fine strainer but have a watery substance at the bottom of the jars. Do I need to remove the watery substance?

the watery substance is concentrated, heavily salted duck broth. You can use it in soups as long as you adjust the seasoning. The best way to remove it is to chill the fat in a jar upside down and then scrape it all off. Make sure you get all of it as it accelerates rancidity in the fat. The best way to ensure it's all gone is to heat up the fat again until any remaining liquid is driven off.

PS: I am a guy.

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I really have to thank those who put this thread together and those who have actively participated. The pictures alone helped me immeasurably, as I have never made confit of duck or confit of anything for that matter! Anyway, using CIA's The Professional Chef cassoulet recipe and the information found here, I treated my family to a terrific holiday meal. Ordinarily we'd have pizza!

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  • 3 weeks later...

We all learn from each other, Blamo! So, in that spirit, can you tell us more about what you did?

Meanwhile, I've got some more confit left from my last batch for cassoulet and I'm wondering what people do with their confit that doesn't involve a three-day process. :wink:

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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We all learn from each other, Blamo! So, in that spirit, can you tell us more about what you did?

Meanwhile, I've got some more confit left from my last batch for cassoulet and I'm wondering what people do with their confit that doesn't involve a three-day process. :wink:

I just scrape off most of the fat & slowly sautée the confit in a frying pan. Turn the heat up a bit at the end with the skin side down for crispy finish.

Great served with lyonaisse potatoes.

We have this 2-3 times a month.

You can also do the same thing, but shred the meat and sprinkle it over a nice simple salad.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oh boy.....

I just found a unopened container of duck confit in the back of my fridge that I made at least 1 year ago. It was simply cooled, removed from the bone, packed in a plastic container, covered with fat and chucked in the fridge, no heat processing done.

I had the courage to unscrew the lid and inhale. Without breaking the fat layer, it smells just fine and has no mold or or other funky growth. Dare I play 'crack the fat', or should it just go straight into the trash?

(I think I know the answer- I just need some electronic persuasion...)

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