I had my first go at making duck confit the other day. I made duck fat a day in advance, turned out pretty good. For the confit I covered the duck legs with salt and placed them in the fridge overnight. The next day I placed the legs in a small pot and tried to cover with fat. I only had enough to go about 2/3 up so I used some oil to fill up the rest. I set the oven to 80deg celscius (175 deg F) for 5-6 hours. I double checked the temperature with two thermometers, both were 2 degrees off so not too bad.
Anyways... I was expecting the meat to practically fall off the bones but it didn't. Taste was a bit salty but not bad. Should I cook longer or at a higher temperature? Other tips?
Higher temp, around the 225-250F range. Let them cool down in the fat until they're a little warmer than room temp before you pull the bones out.
I did some duck legs at around 225 for three or so hours and had the same issue. Not particularly tender. I'll have to try again at some point
What i do is:
cover the uck/chicken with 1 TBLS crab boil and TBLS spoon of salt (kosher) per pound. Rub into meat, Put in a vac bag, seal under highest setting. Refrigerate. 24hrs or later:
take meat out of bag, wipe off almost all the seasoning.
To a clean bag Add olive oil and put duck back in. Sous-vide duck at 160 degrees for 24hrs, rapid chill. remove from bag and pull.
take meat out of bag, wipe off almost all the seasoning.
In a crock pot stack meat nice and tight. Cover with olive oil
Cook on low for 24hrs, allow to cool but not harden, leave at room tempature, pour rendered fat over meat and let cool completey. remove and pull meat.
Did you guys let them sit in the fat in the refrigerator for a few days?
I've had awesome results using Thomas Keller's recipe for duck confit from Bouchon. Each time I've made it, I've let it sit in the fridge for at least a few days and up to over a week. When you reheat them, they're just oozing with delicious duck fat goodness and are quite tender. I've also had no problem with just tugging on the bones to pull them out.
Michael, I'm assuming you mean that after cooking them (I do 8 hrs. @ 220) you let them sit in the fat for a day or longer, reheat/liquify fat and then serve?
Originally Posted by mhlee
Looking at Keller's recipe it's clear I've been using too much salt. Deiter, that's a common mistake.
Anyone know how many times you can re-use duck fat before tossing it? Once used, we strain it re-freeze and usually there's a layer of fat and a thinner layer of darker brown.
Yes as others have stated have to let them sit for at least a day before serving. Also if you liberally covered with salt to draw moisture out before cooking you can wipe some off before doing that depends on how much salt you used. The meat should just hold on the bone, it should be extremely tender but not falling off. We would cover with duck fat, thyme, garlic, other spices, then cover in foil @200 for about 8+ hours. The sous vide method works really well to especially if only doing a few.
You can use the fat a few times as long as you strain it really well. The last place we worked we would use it about twice, although we had so much fat it wasn't an issue if it got tossed.
For those of you still getting tough ducks-the meat should start to shrink,exposing the shank bone when ready.The time needed will always vary depending on how much the duck used its leg muscles.A wild duck will take longer than a farmed one.In my experience it is difficult to overcook confit as long as the temperature of the fat does not go over 80°c.Hope this helps.
An added bonus to confit duck, or more so than duck in my kitchens, pork bellies, butts and ribs, is the gelee that is produced in the bottom of the pan once the confit is done. After the confit is done transfer the protein to a clean pan, ladle or pour off the fat from the top of the cooking vessel, pass through a strainer, and cover the meat. The rest of the fat and liquids get strained into a taller narrow container to chill. Once cold the excess fat can be scraped off and you have a delicious duck or pork gelee that is great for soups, sauces, garnish or to cover pates and mousse. It's generally is a little salty from the cure which can be adjusted but the flavor is incredible. Our lightly grilled and smoked bellies, ribs and butts make a gelee that is great for bbq sauce.
Yes. I let them sit in the fat, refrigerated after it cools down for at least several days. I actually now recall the first time I made confit; I ate one piece right away. It was a little tough, not as tender as I imagined. However, after a week, it was terrific. I sauteed the leg in duck fat in a good non-stick pan, skin side down (the skin becomes really delicate and can stick even on some non-stick pans) and then turned it over and roasted it until just warmed through.
Originally Posted by mano
I've re-used duck fat, I think, four times now and counting. I strain it through a fine mesh strainer to make sure any excess salt does not stay in the fat. I also taste it to see if it's starting to taste strong from the herbs. It started getting salty the last time I used it but it's still fine; I freeze it after it's strained. I've also used the fat for other things, like duck fat sauteed potatoes. I personally like using it for hash browns (steamed russet potatoes, peeled and grated over the largest holes of a grater and put into a pan slicked with duck fat, seasoned simply with salt and pepper, cooked on both sides until dark brown and crunchy). You can also use the warmed duck fat as a fat for a salad instead of olive oil, etc.
Like Lumo explained, you can use the gelee as well, but it can be really salty. I once tried to make a cranberry/port wine glaze for the confit using the leftover gelee. It was not my best attempt. The gelee was way too salty - so I ended up having to add a load of port to offset the saltiness of the gelee.