........Or......how to Confit a Cuisse de Canard!
Way back in cooking school, one of the dishes I wanted to learn was Confit de Canard! Our 'formateur' told us that is was TOO EASY, he would just tell us how to do it. Yes, it sounded easy to him, a trained chef, but sometimes the only way I can learn is to stand over a bubbling pot and witness! Much to my surprise one morning, we found a box of Cuisse waiting for us to prepare!
The first step is to salt, generously, the duck leg and thigh. Add some fresh Thyme and cover, leave overnight in the Fridge. Next morning, brush off the salt and place into a pan of Goose Fat. You can buy jars of goose fat in the grocery, or places like the Ferme de Gally.
Just make sure the fat is just bubbling, one or two bubbles, not all out frying! Simmering, poaching!!
You do this for 3 hours and the meat falls off the bone. The photo is the duck just taken out of the fat. Now, don't worry.....it's not finished yet. No eye appeal, I know! At this point you can place it in the fridge till ready to eat. Or, you can pour the duck fat on top and keep it in the fridge for a few months. You know those gorgeous Confit Pots we like to collect from the Brocante.......that is what 'they' used to keep it in, in the old days! Now, 'they' use a Mason Jar, or bocal.
Remember, don't throw the extra fat away. Strain off the 'bits' and pour into a jar to keep handy when you want to fry up some potatoes! No.......this isn't on the South Beach diet, but every so often you need some comfort food!
Here is the finished plate. You just take your duck and run it under the broiler to crisp up the skin and heat the meat through.
Our New Year Eve's dinner was a very small attempt at a healthy start. Yeah, after all that fat......I know!!! Instead of my beloved potatoes, I cooked up some rice, folded in some zuc and feta and tomatoes.......and baked in a red pepper. Side salad to complete the healthy attempt. If a Frenchman takes a look at this photo, he might yell out in pain. No potatoes cooked in goose fat....sorry sir, middle-aged mom trying to keep the 'poundage' in check!!!
Today, New Years Day, we'll celebrate with Ribs, Sausages and Saurkraut. Plus mashed potatoes and Black Eyed Peas.......
I think 2006 will be a fantastic year, don't you?
Happy New Year everyone!