10th January 2013
After the end-of-year festivities, the supermarkets offer discounts on certain products like duck. Due to the heavy use of duck liver for Christmas dinners, the remaining parts of the duck are left over.
It was a tradition in the south west, where many ducks and geese are kept, to store the meat in a confit. As there was no refrigeration yet, the meat was cured in salt and then cooked and kept in fat.
I wanted to try it out and bought eight legs of duck. I planned to use the fat from the animal and bought an extra pot of goose fat just in case. However, because the meat needs to be submerged in cooking fat – almost like deep frying – I had to return for more. As goose fat is expensive, I added lard.
- Eight legs of duck
- Four cloves of garlic
- Two kilos of fat
- Rock salt.
- Clean the legs, rub them with salt and thyme, put on a large bowl, cover with more salt and let marinate for at least a day, turning the legs every few hours.
- Take the legs from the salt, remove the salt (you can wash it slightly under the tap), dry the meat thoroughly.
- Put the crushed cloves of garlic in a large pan, add the legs in pairs – skins at the outside – and put them in the pan, legs on the bottom.
- Add the fat and melt it (start with half the fat to see how much it renders, add more fat if needed to cover the meat entirely). Bring to the boil.
- Pre-heat an oven to 160 °C, put the pan in the oven (I put a lid on the pan during the transfer to the oven, then removed the lid again) and cook for at least 45 minutes to up to an hour.
- Take it from the oven and let it cool down before storing the legs in glass jar or any other container, cover with fat.