Thursday, 26 August 2010

Duck Confit with lentils and mash

Duck confit is the leg of duck which is cured in salt, left for at least 24 hours, brushed off and then poached in its own fat. 
If you are having friends for dinner and want to cut down some cooking time on the day then this dish is perfect. You are left with a load of even tastier duck fat that you can use again for the BEST roast potatoes on earth. 

Press a few handfuls of flaked sea salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and bay leaf into the duck and pop into the fridge for 24 hours. 

Brush off the salt (thoroughly) and pat dry with a piece of kitchen towel. Place the legs into a pan and cover with duck fat, place on a low heat and cook for at least 2 hours, this is how long mine took. 
Often people put an ovenproof pan into a low oven but I prefer to see if barely simmer on the gas, plus it smells so good. 

When the meat pulls easily from the bone you know it's ready. Take the legs out and sieve the fat into a plastic bowl, then return the legs to the fat and chill. I kept mine in the fridge for 2 days, you can actually keep it in its rendered fat for weeks as long as the meat is totally submerged in the fat and in an airtight container.

Duck confit goes really well with potatoes - may they be mashed, sauteed or crisped up in the fat from the jar. The French accompany the duck with lentils too which go beautifully. 

You know what else goes beautifully? This wine. My favourite wine of all time. Colome Estate Malbec, it will set you back £16 so... just get it for to treat yourself or... have a couple of glasses before your boyfriend turns up for dinner!
Tsk tsk tsk ... yeh I did!