A seriously decadent treat for a holiday potluck, pre-dinner appetizer or nighttime snack in front of the fire.
1 recipe Duck Confit (below)
¼ cup minced onions
1 tablespoon minced parsley
3 tbsp orange zest
3 tbsp pickled capers, minced
10 garlic cloves, reserved from the confit
1 tbsp cognac
½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp fat reserved from the confit
4 duck leg portions with thighs attached
(about 2 pounds), excess fat trimmed
1 tbsp plus 1/8 tsp kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 garlic cloves
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
½ teaspoon table salt
4 cups olive oil
Pull duck meat from the bones and shred. Discard skin and bones. Combine the pulled meat and all of the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mix, taking care not to puree the mixture or let it turn into a paste. The texture should be like finely chopped meat.
Duck Confit Lay the leg portions on a platter, skin-side down. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and the black pepper. Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves and sprigs of thyme on each of 2 leg portions. Lay the remaining 2 leg portions, flesh to flesh, on top. Put the reserved fat in the bottom of a glass or plastic container. Top with the sandwiched leg portions. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200°F.
Remove the duck from the refrigerator. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, duck fat and reserve. Rinse the duck with cool water, rubbing off some of the salt and pepper. Pat dry with paper towels.
Put the reserved garlic, bay leaves, thyme and duck fat in the bottom of an enamelled cast iron pot. Sprinkle evenly with the peppercorns and table salt. Lay the duck on top, skin-side down. Add the olive oil. Cover and bake for 12 to 14 hours, or until the meat pulls away from the bone.
Remove the duck from the fat. Strain the fat and reserve. To store the duck confit, place the duck leg portions in a container, cover with the reserved cooking fat and store in the refrigerator. Alternately, pick the meat from the bones and place it in a stoneware container. Cover the meat with a thin layer of some of the strained fat. The duck confit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.
The excess oil can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and used like butter for cooking. The tinge of duck taste in the oil is wonderful.