It really pays to have a good rapport with your butcher. You get the best cuts, the best service, and a myriad of other little details. That’s the reason Paul let me know about all of the special cuts he would have for the holiday. It was a list that was a mile long if it was an inch, but when said fresh duck legs, I immediately told him to set some aside for me. When I heard duck legs, the first thing that popped in my mind was duck confit.
Since I picked up a copy of Jennifer McLagan’s masterpiece “Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient”, I’ve had it in mind to try my hand at duck confit. It seems like the stars aligned right before Christmas.
With the duck legs washed and patted dry,
I started the first step of the confit.
Everything was covered in saran wrap
In the meantime, I made my way to
With duck fat and sister in tow, I made it back to
Now that the seasoning had done it’s job, it was time to wash it off.
The legs were patted dry and then ready for the dutch oven.
I took extra care to make sure the biggest legs were on the bottom, and I couldn’t forget those halved cloves of garlic.
Here’s a sight you don’t often see.
Even with more than five pounds of melted duck fat, the legs weren’t completely covered.
When the legs were completely submerged, I turned the heat to medium and waited for the first bubble to rise to the surface.
Once that happened, the dutch oven went on a baking sheet and into a 200 degree oven. Now it was just a matter of time.
McLagan writes that the confit should take 4 to 5 hours, or until “the meat is very tender and has shrunk away from the bone”.
Of course, now I had the fun time of getting the duck legs into sterilized mason jars.