I feel like rillettes tonight

February 26, 2007 at 5:35 pm (Food)

We were invited to a party on Saturday night, one of those bizarre, “theme”parties, if you will. This party, for Véro, was a pot-luck, with the stipulation that everything be meatless. Fucking pagans.
Anyhow, not one to rock the boat, we made sweet potato pot-stickers. I think they were well received, as they disappeared rather quickly. However, there was this atavistic part of me that was calling out, demanding that I handle the flesh of a once-living creature. So, I made duck confit this weekend.
Pretty simple, really. Find a butcher that sells duck legs. Bring it home, trim off the excess skin and fat—there will be a lot of it—and render this fat down over low heat. Meanwhile, rinse the duck legs, pat dry, and rub in a mixture of ground salt, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove from the fridge, rinse and pat dry. Place in an oven-safe pot (I use an earthenware pot that I got from a Portuguese store). Cover the legs with duck fat, and cook for 12 hours at 190°F (88°C). For this, I usually put it in the oven after supper, go to bed, and wake up to an amazing aroma in the morning. Take it out of the oven, and this is what you get.
I’m thinking of taking one of the legs, shredding the meat, and then adding some salt, pepper and duck fat to the mixture. Cover with caramelised onions, spread on baguette, and my meat needs will be fulfilled.
(And can I just mention that, 11 months out of the year the milliner and I look forward to spending our weekend nights at home, falling asleep at 9. But then, February rolls around and everyone’s having a birthday. This has got to stop.)



  1. the milliner said,

    Kidding! He’s kidding! To all you party-having people out there…don’t scratch our names off your list!

    (…of course, the part about falling asleep at 9 is not so much a joke. But Hey! we can make exceptions)

  2. JonasParker said,

    Then, murder is your only solution.

  3. lefty said,

    i ate a honking piece of hungarian sausage after everyone left! : ) and as for all this complaining, well i don’t remember hearing any of it that night. all i can recall is michel’s ‘happy’ banter while enjoying a few more refills on the white sangria punch. oh and ‘well received’ is the understatement of the year. they got first prize by a long shot as i quickly sampled those pot stickers on route from the teflon free cast iron pan to the serving tray. ooooh so good. i’m planning a greek party to force your hands into bringing the 50 lamb versions sitting pretty in your freezer. glad you guys came and hope you had a great time.

    ps: they stayed well after midnight without a single bit of meat to keep up the spirits. : )

  4. Michel said,

    Yeah, just because punch tastes like Sprite, it doesn’t mean there’s no alcohol in it.
    Unfortunately, I learned that little lesson the hard way.

  5. lefty said,

    actually we let ken make the first few batches for some reason, i only realized later that we forgot to add the key ingredient until much too late…. orange juice. i now know why so many people got hammered so quickly. oops.

  6. Michel said,

    “actually we let ken make the first few batches”: nothing more needs to be said.

  7. Marc said,

    I agree, we should boycott all birthdays after the month of February

  8. Michel said,

    Only if that means that I stop aging.

  9. Patrick said,

    “not one to rock the boat”
    Ah!! Since when? :-p

  10. Michel said,

    Hey now! I do not think that means what you think it means.
    I’m the last person to ever rock a boat. I will, however, gladly mock my fellow passengers, myself being more often than not my biggest target.
    It’s a small yet vital distinction.
    Here’s an example: were I one to rock the boat, I’d be someone who tries to overthrow the organiser of Yulblog. I, on the other hand, would rather write a post on a long-running yet seldom-read blog (this one) ridiculing fellow bloggers who, the moment they arrive at a yulblog, whip out their iBooks and compare the size of their hard drives.

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