Monday, November 29, 2010

Quick Duck Confit

3 hours - freezer to plate; I promise.

I love duck confit. And I usually only get it at Cafe Campagne once or twice a year. But last week I was at Bob's Quality Meats picking up the Thanksgiving turkey, and there was a package of 3 duck legs and thighs in the freezer case, and I had no other ideas for dinner, and it was cold and snowing and I was going home early. So. I bought the duck legs at 2:30. Home at 3:00. Duck legs in a bowl of warm water while I looked up a bunch of recipes on Mr. Google. Yes, I know you're not supposed to thaw poultry in warm water. Whatever. Turns out there are a few recipes that say you can make duck confit in 2 or 3 hours.
3:30 - mostly thawed duck legs in the cast iron skillet. Prior to the skillet, poke the skin with a knife to let the fat out, and salt a little, then put on the heat for 15-20 minutes skin side down. Then 10-15 minutes on the other side. Then in the oven to 350 - put the skillet in with skin side up for 30 min, (cover with foil) - turn over for another 30 min (still covered), then finish at 375 with skin side up (take the foil off) for the last 30 min.

I had my doubts, but this was really fabulous - the meat was tender and falling off the bone, the skin was crispy. . . . Bonus - while the duck is cooking, boil 5 small potatoes until tender. Drain and peel the skin off, then smash lightly, and fry until golden brown on both sides in some of the duck fat that you skimmed off during one of the times when you turned the legs over. Not health food - but kind of mental health food.

Serve with a champagne cocktail to celebrate your brilliance.