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.)