Attention fans of big cooking projects: making duck confit is the perfect way to bust out of your poultry rut. Duck is widely available in US supermarkets, but it’s a far less common addition to the dinner table than its feathery counterpart, the chicken. If you’re looking to master a new skill, read on to learn all about this traditional method for preparing duck.
What is duck confit?
Duck confit is duck that has been slow cooked in fat. The term confited can be used to refer to anything that has been slow cooked in liquid and some type of oil. The fat serves an important purpose here. This technique was originally invented as a way to preserve foods. Once something has been confited, it emerges from the oven fully-cooked and submerged under a layer of fat liquid fat. As it cools, this top layer hardens and forms a seal, shutting out any oxygen. As long as it isn’t exposed to oxygen, the duck can be stored for months in a cool place. In addition to duck, you can confit turkey legs, garlic, or even fruits and vegetables.
How long does it take to make duck confit?
Making confit is a lengthy process! The duck needs to cure overnight, cook for 4-6 hours, and cool. In total, the process takes about 30 hours before you’ve even started making your finished dish. In a restaurant, confit duck legs are prepared in advance, stored in their fat, and seared before serving. This is the same technique that Blue Apron’s Fireside Feast uses. Each kit includes premade duck legs that are ready to be finished.
Watch chef John Adler demonstrate how to make duck confit from scratch
How should you serve duck confit?
The meat is fully-cooked once the confit is finished, but that doesn’t mean it’s ready to eat. The slow-poached duck will be tender and flavorful, but the skin will still be soft. Searing your duck legs before serving will transform the skin from thick and rubbery to shatteringly crispy and delicious.
For a classic duck dish, try making a French cassoulet. Cassoulet is a slow-cooked stew that traditionally includes beans and several types of meat. The version found in the Blue Apron Fireside Feast is made with white beans, kale, and pork belly. The premade demi-glace and pork belly deliver slow-cooked flavor without the time in the kitchen. Top your cassoulet off with crispy duck legs and you’ll have a meal rich enough to warm up even the frostiest winter nights.
To try our Duck Confit Cassoulet with Pork Belly, Beans & Thyme Breadcrumbs, order your Fireside Feast box here.