Duck confit may seem decadent, but the process doesn’t leave the meat fattier than it began. You’re going to have mere slivers of the meat, and you’re not going to drink the fat.
I won’t be serving an entire duck leg or wing for each person. The pieces will be deboned, and the meat will be used as an accent…almost as a seasoning to the dishes it’s used in. I truly do get 10 or more dishes from the two legs and wings of an 11lb duck.
Mind you, it was a very happy, exceptionally lean, free-range duck, from neighbours at Legacy Farm. There was little waste on this bird .
Because the duck used was truly free range, it was almost entirely without fat. Even after rendering the skin from the breasts, which was used for another purpose, there was only a small amount of fat, and there was none at all clinging to the bird.
With no duck fat for sale locally, butter was the only solution. It proved to be a delicious problem.
- 2 legs duck
- 2 wings duck
- 4 tbsp Sea Salt
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves stripped from stems
- 4-6 cloves Garlic peeled and minced
- Black Pepper a liberal amount, freshly ground
- 1-2 lbs duck fat or butter roughly 4 cups
- Prepare a heavy pan that is just large enough to hold all of the duck pieces in a single layer.
- Mix sea salt, thyme, and pepper in a bowl.
- Spread half of the salt mixture, with half of the garlic, on the bottom of the pan.
- Put the duck pieces on top of this in a single layer, skin-side up, as tightly fitted as possible.
- Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture and garlic on top, cover, and leave in a refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
- After the brining period, brush the salt mixture off of the duck.
- Cover with the duck fat/butter.
- Cook covered, at 225º for 4 to 6 hours
- Remove from the fat/butter and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes
- Pick the flesh from the bone, packing it into 5 one-cup jars.
- Cover with the still liquid fat, making sure that the meat is covered with at least a 1" layer of fat.
- Cool quickly by putting in a drafty location if available, then into a cold water bath with ice-cubes, and then into the fridge.