Duck Insanity!

November 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm | Posted in Dinner | 4 Comments

These meals have been a long time coming! Because you see, I love duck and so does Ned and we had talked and talked about making this for oh-I’d say 2 good years!  Finally! We got to enjoy the most divine meat and the fruits of our labor!

The last time I had duck confit was in Paris in July 2007, and it was just as I remembered… amazingly succulent and delicious. We paired that with brussel sprouts and a shallot, dijon mustard cream sauce – all courtesy of Mr. Thomas Keller from his Bouchon cookbook (which I am currently going to take property over from Ned!)

I also made a butternut squash risotto to accompany the above feast- which I LOVE and am going to make as often as I can!  On the first night when we took apart the duck we cooked the breasts with swiss chard, mashed potatoes and a pomegranate sauce. Check it all out below!!

I took this recipe from the lovely Miss Jackie– and I used shallots and sage to make it my own! I could actually eat this every day for about 2 months straight and I swear I would not get sick of it! Go- NOW- make some amazingness for yourself!!

The mashed potato recipe can be seen here! To make the pomegranate sauce, I cracked one open and smushed it enough to get juice. After we seared the breasts (and then stuck in the oven) I added the juice to the pan and cooked it down a bit. Then added 2 tbsp butter! It went perfectly with the duck because it wasn’t too sweet, but the flavor was interesting enough to complement the rich meat.

Here’s Edward in full on destruction mode! It’s so nice to have the meat man back in my life, a) because he does all the nasty prep work and b) he’s kinda cute.

So I’m being a bit lazy and am only going to put up the duck confit recipe! If you want details on anything else, lemme know and I’ll call you! ha…

**I halved both of these recipes**

Duck Confit

4 whole duck legs (I used 2 duck legs)
Enough fat to cover the legs, 3+ cups. (We rendered the fat from the breasts and the random parts of the duck by cooking everything on low first in a nonstick. And Ned had some duck fat in his freezer!)

Green salt (I did not make this we just used salt!)
4 Tbsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
2 Tbsp packed parsley leaves
1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1)Add the ingredients for the green salt in a small food processor or spice grinder. Process until well combined and bright green.

2) Trim off any excess fat or skin on the duck legs, rinse, and pat dry. Rub the duck with green salt, using about 1 tablespoon per leg or breast. Place the duck in a baking dish in one layer flesh side up. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to cure.

3) After the cure, rinse the legs (or breast) and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 190 deg F. Place in an ovenproof pot with lid and cover the duck with rendered fat. Place the pot in the oven and cook for 10 hours. (I started at 8 pm and took it out at 6 am! Heavenly!) The duck is done with it is very tender and the meat will pull away from the bone on the drumstick and shrink towards the thigh. The fat should be clear, meaning that the meat is no longer releasing any juices.

Duck Confit Dinner


4 pieces duck confit
Kosher salt
16 Brussels sprouts (about 12 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced thyme leaves
12 cloves garlic confit (or about half as many fresh ones)
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoon minced chives


1) Allow the duck legs to soften at room temperature until you can remove the legs without damage.  You can also warm them gently in the oven.

2) Boil a large pot of salted water, and prepare a large mixing bowl with ice water nearby.  Also, have a baking sheet with a dish towel. Preheat the oven to 375.

3) Remove outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts until you have only tender green leaves showing and make a small slit in the center of each root.

4) Put the sprouts into the ice bath to chill at least five minutes.  Once the water is boiling, add enough to the water so that it does not cool down much.  Keller recommends cooking them in two batches—I did them all at once because I was halving the recipe anyway.   If doing in two batches, remove the second batch from the ice bath just before you pull the first ones out of the boiling water, because that first batch is headed for the ice.  Once chilled after cooking, drain on dish towel.

5) Gently scrape away remaining fat on the legs and bat with paper towels.  Cut the Brussels sprouts in slices.

6) Heat a non-stick skillet large enough to hold the legs in an uncrowded, single layer over medium heat.  Add the legs skin side down and stand back, since they’ll eject boiling pearls of duck fat all over the place.  They should sit untouched anyway, so let them do their thing.

7) Saute for five to six minutes, gently turning with tongs to get them crispy all over.  They should turn a rich brown, but don’t let them burn of course.  When they’re a minute or so away from finishing, tilt the pan and spoon some of the fat that’s leaked off the legs into a baking dish, enough to coat.  Place the legs skin up on sheet and warm for 8 minutes.

8 ) Meanwhile, discard all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining skillet fat and let the skillet come down to medium-low heat.  Add the shallots, thyme, and garlic confit (or fresh garlic).

9) Saute gently for 2 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a simmer for an additional two minutes.  Whisk in the Dijon mustard and crème fraiche and add the sprouts.

10) Simmer until the sprouts are warmed through, letting the sauce reduce until it coats them.

11) Remove the legs from the oven and drain on paper towels.  Take the sprouts off the heat and stir in the chives.  Plate them, topping with the duck confit, and serve immediately!



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  1. Great minds think alike on the butternut squash recipe, I bet we were stirring at the same time :-). Suggestion on the confit recipe, next time make the whole recipe, keep the other 1/2 for cassoulet, it is winter after all. See you in January.

  2. WOW! The pictures look great. I have made that duck recipe many times and it never looked that good. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  3. Check you guys out! Well done! (And I know those Bouchon recipes can be insanely complicated.)

  4. amazing — i love duck confit, but i’ve never made it myself! i actually had rendered duck fat at one point, but i threw it out when we moved this summer, boo!

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