Duck Confit Day 2

In case you missed it, day 1 is here.   I made duck confit so that we can use it for a large cassoulet party later in January.   After yesterday’s seasoning (curing) of the duck legs, today’s major effort involved the real “confit” part.  None of this work is difficult, but it does require time.  The steps pictured in this entry took place over the course of about 7 or 8 hours today.

The cured legs, rinsed. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The first step was to take the cured legs from the refrigerator, rinse off the salt, garlic, and spices, and pat them dry. You can see that the meat is a bit darker in color, where it has had contact with the salt.

The big vessel

The smaller vessel

Next, I took out my trusty Dutch Ovens. The red one is a 6-quart, and the oval blue one is a 4.5-quart, I believe.  My next step was to layer the duck legs in the Dutch Ovens.

Layering the duck legs, view A

Layered legs, view B

And now, the part that makes this confit…. The FAT.

Melting the fat - unlike in the New Year's Fitness commercials

Confit requires a large quantity of fat – enough to completely cover the duck legs in the Dutch Ovens.  I melted a large quantity (pounds) of duck fat and some lard that I had rendered and frozen earlier this year.  This picture represents only a portion of the fat that was melted, then poured over the duck legs:

Now that's some fat.

I preheated the oven to 180 degrees F, then put the Dutch Ovens over medium heat, to bring the pots up to a simmer.

Bubble, bubble....

Once both pots reached a simmer, it was into the oven:

And on to cook... for HOURS

At this point, I closed the oven and ignored it for about 6.5 hours.

When I woke up from my nap and pulled the pots out, they looked like this:

Post-cooking, before storage

You can see that the legs have shrunk in the cooking process, and the meat is all still underneath the fat.  At this point, I let the Dutch Ovens cool, and put them into the refrigerator, where they will stay, safely preserved under the fat, until it’s time to make the cassoulet.   We’ll just break the cold fat and get out the meat, crisp up the skin, and go on with the cassoulet recipe.   Should I mention that the kitchen smells just ducky?  I’m looking forward to tasting this stuff.

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5 Responses to Duck Confit Day 2

  1. Sasa says:

    Extreme Dutch oven envy! They’re beautiful…And inspiring – I haven’t made confit since I used to make it as a starter years ago at a restaurant I worked at but *love* it.

  2. steve says:

    wait a god dam minnit. you just fish them out of the cold fat? how do you crisp them exactly???

  3. Jennifer says:

    You heat up the fat to get them out. (Then you can strain the fat through cheesecloth to get out small bits, and let it cool, and save it to use again) Then, once you’ve fished out the pieces of meat, you put them in a skillet and fry them until the skin crisps up.

    I have photos of this process, but I haven’t had time to write a good post about it yet. We used the confit to make Cassoulet.

  4. Jennifer Sanborn says:

    I just wanted to say that I thought it was pretty cool to punch my name in and actually find a website.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Cool name. 🙂 thanks for visiting.

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