BBC Good Food Magazine’s 2014 Birthday Issue p160 had a James Martin recipe for honey-roast confit duck this month that took our fancy, served with puy lentils & pancetta. We’re adding the last of our garden spinach to make a proper meal of it.
The duck legs get salted overnight, along with fresh thyme and rosemary, in the fridge, then washed clean before confiting… is that a word?
So: finding duck fat isn’t easy; not something your average supermarket carries. Goose fat yes, duck fat no. But I found some at a butchers near work… but I didn’t buy enough to cover the duck, so Soph kindly popped to the local Budgens where they have gooose fat and we topped it up with that.
So it starts on the hob with a few bay leaves, and you bring to a simmer.
Then it’s into a low oven, 120C fan, for two and a half hours.
They’ve really shrunk! And they fell apart a lot transferring them to a plastic tub.
Once cooled this goes into the fridge until we need to cook them.
The plan was to eat it today, but Soph’s off to see Gone Girl, so we actually get to use confit for its original purpose: preserving. We’ll store it in the fridge concealed in the fat until we’re ready to use it.
Getting it out again was a bit messy…
Into a frying pan, while put lentils cook in the background, and they go into the oven at 200C fan for about 40 minutes to crisp up, with a bit of honey getting poured over at the end.
And it tastes great! The duck tastes amazing, not fatty at all; just tender and juicy. Is it worth all the faff? I think so! Not one to do regularly, but one to trot out for special occasions.
We’re saving the leftover fat in the freezer in small portions, for future uses, like roast potatoes! We’ll melt down the fat and strain out the bay leaves and stray duck bits before pouring into tubs and ice cubes to freeze.