My long suffering husband has gone back to Blighty this week, leaving me home alone with two starving Weimaraners, (well that's what they would have you believe), and my youngest son who loves his food. The trouble is that I only share recipes on my website that we are actually eating, whether they are a new creation or family favourites. What that actually means is that my family are all waiting patiently at the table and I am still faffing in the kitchen....with a tripod....standing on a stool.....with a camera. You get the picture, yes? Patience and greed don't go well together.
So I have taken advantage of the situation to cook one of my family favourites of duck confit so when he sees this he will feel a little left out! It's not exactly frugal, in fact for us it is downright dirty and decadent, but I only buy it when it's on offer or reduced. The best thing about this dish? It's stupidly easy but tastes amazing. It just needs a bit of time. Once it is in the oven go out and do something and it will be perfectly happy.
This is typically how duck is cooked in France with a view to preserving it but my short-cuts mean this dish needs to be frozen or used within a few days. I have never had any left-over though!For this meal I had legs and wings but generally allow one leg per person. Start by drying the joints with kitchen paper and sprinkling the skin liberally with salt. Place in the fridge for about an hour then wash off the salt and dry the joints again.
The next bit is a bit chicken and egg....or maybe duck and egg! Anyway, you need duck fat, lots of it. This dish will render the fat down in the dish for use next time it is probably easier to buy a jar of duck fat to start with. It lasts for months in the fridge. Cover the duck with fat in a roasting tin.
At this stage I'll admit that it doesn't look particularly appetizing! The thought of all that fat on a fatty cut of meat is probably sending some readers scurrying away, in search of a lettuce leaf, but hang in there. You will not be eating all the fat at all. The fat is just there to slowly poach the meat, which is actually very lean. This way the sinewy joints become deliciously tasty and tender. Cover the dish with foil and roast in the oven Gas 3 for about 3 hours.
The meat will be ready to fall off the bone at this stage. Drain off all the fat, (into a sealable container ready for next time in the fridge), reserving the ducky juices and place the duck on a clean oven tin at Gas 6 for 20 minutes to crisp the skin. Season before placing in the oven.
Finely slice and fry two shallots in butter or duck fat until transparent then add about 125ml of red wine. This is a small or standard wine glass full. At this point add 2 heaped tablespoons of redcurrant jelly. You can probably buy it where you are but my first ever post was my homemade redcurrant jelly if you want to have a go at making it yourself: http://chezlerevefrancais.com/?p=48This is not a standard wine glass. I confess I don't have any....Add the ducky juices to the pan.It might be necessary to add a little water or cornflour diluted in water if you like it thicker. Check the seasoning and serve the duck with the sauce on the side. Sorry Ian. It was delicious but at least you didn't have to wait around while I took photos last night! I served this with my green mash and cumin roasted carrots and parsnips. Crispy skin and tender duck meat....what could be better? How do you cook cook? I would love to try some new recipes. Thanks for reading, Amanda xx
- 4 large duck legs
- Large jar of duck fat or about 500g
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 125ml/ 1 small glass red wine
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- Liberally salt the duck and place in the fridge for an hour.
- Wash off the salt, dry and place in an oven tin.
- Cover the duck with fat and cover with foil.
- Cook on Gas 3 for 3 hours.
- Drain the duck and place in a new tin. Season and place in the oven Gas 6 while you make the sauce
- Retain the fat for future use. Reserve the leftover juices for the sauce.
- Heat 1 tbsp duck fat in a frying pan and soften the shallots.
- Add the wine and redcurrant jelly and a few tbsp of water if required along with the reserved juices.
- Season to taste and allow to bubble to required consistency.
- Allow the duck to rest for a few moments and serve with the sauce on the side.