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  • 1 month later...

I'm comfortable with leaving the confit in a bag vs packing in a jar (due to confidence in the way I seal my bags. I do, however, have another question:

Why is this (or the traditional jar method) OK from a botulism standpoint? I'm probably missing something simple but I thought I'd ask!

Thanks!

Edit: Actually, is it just that we store it in a cool enough place?

Edited by jduncan81 (log)
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I just love it when this thread gets bumped up! It is the thread that brought me to eGullet in the first place and made me join.

I think the reason that the worry about spoilage and disease is lessened is because of the salt cure, the thorough cooking and that fact that there is no "air" contact with the duck (completely covered by the duck fat vs. vacuum packed).

The reason, I understand, for the confit process originally was to preserve the meat. This was prior to refridgeration and freezing. People would keep the confit completely covered in duck fat in a cool place for MONTHS!

I have some in the fridge, covered in duck fat, that I made about 6 months ago. Now am anxious to do something with it!

Enjoy.

Donna

Donna

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Thanks to this thread, and a bit of additional research, I managed to serve an immensely edible duck confit-centered meal to actual (human) guests this past Saturday night. :cool:

I butchered two D'Artagnan ducklings, rendered much of the fat, and confited the four legs and two of the breasts in my slow cooker. I based the dry marinade on culinary bear's citrusy recipe, and added three vats of pre-rendered D'Artagnan duck fat to the stuff I rendered. I probably cooked it way too long -- around 12 hours -- because the meat fell off the bone when simply lifting it. It did taste great, though I wouldn't be able to serve it whole, so I picked off the meat and jarred it along with some extra fat for three days before serving it. I also roasted the bones and made a bit of duck stock.

The confit made its way into four dishes that night -- barley soup with duck confit and root vegetables (epicurious recipe), rillettes (an adaptation of an Emeril recipe, with caramelized shallots rather than raw, minced onion), salad with frisée, mesclun, radishes, blood oranges in a sherry-duck stock vinaigrette with duck confit and cracklings, and phatj's duck confit potstickers (which were excellent, btw). I also served duck a l'orange, pommes anna/salardaises (really, the former made with duck fat), and pain l'anciennes baguettes, one of which was sliced and toasted for the rillettes, the extra dough of which was converted into foccacia. Dessert was (homemade, of course) apple coffeecake, dulce de leche ice cream and Dorie Greenspan's World Peace cookies.

I was shocked at how this all came together so well, particularly as I had never eaten duck confit before, much less prepared it myself. Rather ambitious, even for me. Fortunately, everyone left quite full and, seemingly, pleased.

Thanks to everyone for your guidance and inspiration. Love eGullet! :cool:

Edited by abooja (log)
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Thanks to this thread, and a bit of additional research, I managed to serve an immensely edible duck confit-centered meal to actual (human) guests this past Saturday night.  :cool:

I butchered two D'Artagnan ducklings, rendered much of the fat, and confited the four legs and two of the breasts in my slow cooker.  I based the dry marinade on culinary bear's citrusy recipe, and added three vats of pre-rendered D'Artagnan duck fat to the stuff I rendered.  I probably cooked it way too long -- around 12 hours -- because the meat fell off the bone when simply lifting it.  It did taste great, though I wouldn't be able to serve it whole, so I picked off the meat and jarred it along with some extra fat for three days before serving it.  I also roasted the bones and made a bit of duck stock.

The confit made its way into four dishes that night -- barley soup with duck confit and root vegetables (epicurious recipe), rillettes (an adaptation of an Emeril recipe, with caramelized shallots rather than raw, minced onion), salad with frisée, mesclun, radishes, blood oranges in a sherry-duck stock vinaigrette with duck confit and cracklings, and phatj's duck confit potstickers (which were excellent, btw).  I also served duck a l'orange, pommes anna/salardaises (really, the former made with duck fat), and pain l'anciennes baguettes, one of which was sliced and toasted for the rillettes, the extra dough of which was converted into foccacia.  Dessert was (homemade, of course) apple coffeecake, dulce de leche ice cream and Dorie Greenspan's World Peace cookies. 

I was shocked at how this all came together so well, particularly as I had never eaten duck confit before, much less prepared it myself.  Rather ambitious, even for me.  Fortunately, everyone left quite full and, seemingly, pleased.

Thanks to everyone for your guidance and inspiration.  Love eGullet!  :cool:

Awesome! I'm glad you liked the potstickers.

As an aside, this may be the first time I've ever had anyone else actually try one of my recipes (and comment on it, anyway).

*Does little happy dance*

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This was such an enjoyable topic to read. Just wanted to share another use for the confit that I came across. I worked at a Latin fusion restaurant in Manhattan called Patria that has since closed. The chef there did a duck confit taco with blue corn tortillas, carmalized onions, avocado and queso fresco that was so good.

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  • 6 months later...

So I'm halfway through making duck confit. I cured the legs and wings yesterday and rendered the fat.

But I'm worried I've made mistakes.

Are you supposed to trim all the fat off the legs, too? I've seen recipes (and pictures) with the fat on and the fat off. (Mine is on. I'm curing legs, wings and neck with salt, thyme, garlic, shallots and pepper.)

I'm also having trouble with rendering the fat. I had about 3 1/2 pounds of fat from 4 ducks. I added 3 cups of water (that was likely too much) and simmered (ploop, ploop) on the low burner for 3 hours. I couldn't stay awake any longer so I turned the burner way way down and went to bed. It's been going for 11 hours now ... and the fat is still blubbery.

Does this mean I'm not getting all the fat? Why hasn't the skin turned to cracklins? I was afraid of high because I didn't want to ruin the fat.

I poured the liquid fat out and am waiting for it to separate from any water. I spread the solid fat/skin out on a half-sheet pan. I'm thinking low oven until they crisp? What temp? Will I get more fat?

Thanks!

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Hang in there. I think you're ok.

Are you supposed to trim all the fat off the legs, too? I've seen recipes (and pictures) with the fat on and the fat off. (Mine is on. I'm curing legs, wings and neck with salt, thyme, garlic, shallots and pepper.)

There's no effect on the confit if you've not trimmed off the fat. Most of it should render when you cook it, and having it a little cured is fine. The reason some folks take the fat off is either cosmetic or to get more when rendering.

I'm also having trouble with rendering the fat. I had about 3 1/2 pounds of fat from 4 ducks. I added 3 cups of water (that was likely too much) and simmered (ploop, ploop) on the low burner for 3 hours. I couldn't stay awake any longer so I turned the burner way way down and went to bed. It's been going for 11 hours now ... and the fat is still blubbery.

Does this mean I'm not getting all the fat? Why hasn't the skin turned to cracklins? I was afraid of high because I didn't want to ruin the fat.

Yes, it does. You were right to avoid the high heat while rendering, but you need it for cracklins. And you can correct this problem.

If you want cracklins, just keep a minimum amount of fat in the pan and get all of that nonfat liquid out of there, then turn up the heat to medium. Your sheet idea would also work, but you'll eventually have to use a high heat if you want cracklins (325 or so).

If you just want to get the fat, you can try using your food processor with a bit of water, which helps render the fat more quickly.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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OK great. Phew! Thanks Chris.

I don't need ALL the cracklins, so I will do some on the sheet pan and some using the food processor idea.

I'll report back later today.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Liz, for future reference I get my duck fat from the Hudson Valley Fois Gras, they sell a 7.5lb (1gal.) bucket that comes UPS to me in Westchester for about $30.

I use it for my pheasant confit and it's great stuff.

Edited by Recoil Rob (log)

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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In the past, I've put duck fat on a hottray and then left it until it redered. Every now and then I'd stir it, so that the fat would render from all sides. It worked well, and I didn't have to worry about it. I just left it hour after hour after hour until most or all of the fat was rendered. If you start out with bought fat (Hudson Valley or D'Artagnon) you'll find that you have enough, with fat rendered from future ducks so that you never have to buy fat again. (I keep my unused fat in the freezer.)

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Thanks Rob and Joan. Great suggestions, both.

I may be in trouble now. My duck has been curing for almost 24 hours and I don't think I have enough duck fat.

Maybe I should brush the salt off, put back in the fridge and start calling around. After all this work, I don't want to use olive oil.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Thanks Rob and Joan. Great suggestions, both.

I may be in trouble now. My duck has been curing for almost 24 hours and I don't think I have enough duck fat.

Maybe I should brush the salt off, put back in the fridge and start calling around. After all this work, I don't want to use olive oil.

Canola oil is netural and can be used very successfully. This is especially true if you have some duck fat because the flavor will come from that and the canola is just a way to extend it.

Sous vide is another method - this is discussed up thread - that requires only a small amount of fat, but you need to have a food saver.

Nathan

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Thanks Rob and Joan. Great suggestions, both.

I may be in trouble now. My duck has been curing for almost 24 hours and I don't think I have enough duck fat.

Maybe I should brush the salt off, put back in the fridge and start calling around. After all this work, I don't want to use olive oil.

Last batch I made I used a modified recipe from CHARCUTERIE but the amount of salt they called for. If they have been salted for 24-48 hours you can go ahead and rinse them and pat dry.

If you call HVFG tomorrow morning you'll have your fat Tuesday and proceed from there.

BTW, do we have any good Vietnamese restaurants in Westchester yet? Connecticut?

Rob

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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I broke down and used the olive oil. AND I put my order in at HVFG. This was my first stab at confit and I know it won't be the last. Plus, I certainly don't mind having a tub of duck fat lying around.

This confit is destined for cassoulet, so I'm thinking the difference in the flavor there will be negligible. Fingers crossed.

BTW, do we have any good Vietnamese restaurants in Westchester yet? Connecticut?

Rob

Unbelievably, no. I've heard people say they like The Viet Nam in Spring Valley, but last time I went I wasn't wowed. Not sure it's worth the 40-minute drive from Northern Westchester.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Canola oil is netural and can be used very successfully.  This is especially true if you have some duck fat because the flavor will come from that and the canola is just a way to extend it.

Darn. Wish I'd done that. I did have enough duck fat to cover about half to 3/4 the way up the duck legs.

Edited by Liz Johnson (log)

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Hang in there. I think you're ok.

The reason some folks take the fat off is either cosmetic or to get more when rendering.

Hey Chris,

If people do this, how do they crisp the confit later if there is no skin?

Thanks.

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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Leave the skin on, I doubt it will make that difference in the amount of fat rendered and you need to crisp it before serving!

To bad about no Vietnamese in Westchester. We went to a place outside of Danbuy, CT a few years back, never went back. I thought I had read on one of the local blogs that a new one had opened....

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
Oh my, how brilliant! I can't believe I've never thought of that. Usually, I'm dealing with the bit of chicken stock at the bottom of the container of chicken fat strained from stockmaking. Just store it upside down! Duh. :smacks forehead:

If you need, the stock or the fat sooner. while it's still warm strain contents into large zip lock bag, find a container big enough for your stock and or fat, grab one non-zipper corner of the bag and cut a small corner off. pinch the corner and hold bag by opposite corner. wait for contents to settle and unpinch. pinch again when you get to the fat

I just made my first batch of confit and have another week or so before I can touch it, oh the suspense!

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

Bo Bo even delivers to several New Jersey markets, and they are very good about taking special orders. They will deliver your order to the market along with their regular delivery. The hard part is not finding quality duck legs: the hard part is finding goose or duck fat in NYC -- or anywhere -- for less that a dollar an ounce. On the extremely rare occasions when you can find duck fat, it costs like $10 for a seven ounce container. Goose fat does not exist.

Any assistance for NY/NJ would be greatly appreciated. I have no problem rendering it myself -- in fact i would prefer to -- but again it's the same problem.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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I get mine from the Hudson Valley Fois Gras Farm. http://www.hudsonvalleyfoiegras.com/.

Call and ask for the five pound pail of duck fat, it's about a gallon and runs about $35 including shipping by UPS ground which is fine for the NY area, it comes in one day. Just don't order on Friday or it will be at UPS over the weekend.

the hard part is finding goose or duck fat in NYC -- or anywhere -- for less that a dollar an ounce. On the extremely rare occasions when you can find duck fat, it costs like $10 for a seven ounce container. Goose fat does not exist.

Any assistance for NY/NJ would be greatly appreciated. I have no problem rendering it myself -- in fact i would prefer to -- but again it's the same problem.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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