Confit Duck Legs

Those who've been following the last few projects can probably see where this will end up. I've made Ventrèche, a Gascon bacon, along with Toulouse Sausage. Now I'm making Confit Duck. It don't take a genius to work out that sooner or later there'll be a recipe for Cassoulet!

There's method in my madness, but you've got to go back to just before Christmas before it becomes clear (well as clear as mud!). You see, it started with some ducks!

Let me explain - I know that I pride myself on supporting local food producers, but when just before Christmas I saw this:

Cheap Duck

Well really, what would you do? I'm no hero, I did the same! So now we've got a freezer full of ducks.

All that was left for me to do was convince Pauline to eat them!

I thought I'd take a two pronged approach - serving just the breast at one meal and the confit leg in a cassoulet at another. We've had tinned cassoulet in France so she's used to it. It would just be the inclusion of duck that would be new as it doesn't feature in products at the cheaper end of the range. (Blimey, I've just looked a tinned cassoulet online - some of it's over a tenner a time!) Anyway, back to the duck. I cut it into pieces:

Jointed Ducks

Then salted the legs overnight with garlic, thyme, and 2gm sea salt per 100gm of meat.

The duck curing in salt, thyme and garlic

In the meantime I roasted the duck carcass to render it's fat.

Duck fat

It was this, along with some bought duck fat, that the duck (after it had been rinsed of the herbs and salt) was cooked in the following day. I shall try and avoid buying duck fat in future; it's dearer than the duck! Anyway, the legs sat submerged in the fat at 100°C for about 4 hours. I'm now storing it for a few days 'to mature' before I use it for cassoulet.

Confit of duck legs

And, the breasts? Well, this snapshot doesn't do justice to the duck with cherry sauce looking, as it does, like a dog's dinner:

Duck breast with cherry sauce

It tasted superb though.

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