Sunday, April 13, 2008

Duck Confit with a Sour Cherry, Merlot Reduction

This is another Thomas Keller recipe adaptation. Duck Confit is featured in his Bouchon Cookbook and it is fantastic. I didn't know that duck could be so tender and so flavorful. The duck legs are first salted for 24 hours with a green sea salt (Kosher salt blended with parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and black pepper corns). The legs are rinsed and then placed in a roasting pan and covered with rendered duck fat. (not the easiest ingredient to find, but if you buy enough duck, you can render your own). The legs go into a 210 degree oven for 10 hours... (this is the secret to very tender duck... long slow cooking). I've done this dish a couple of times and I normally put it in the oven a few hours before I go to bed and then wake up and pull them out of the oven. The legs are removed from the fat and allowed to cool. The fat is strained and then poured over the legs. Everything then goes into the refrigerator until you're ready to use them. We've served the meat on the bones before as they do at Bouchon, but this time we pulled the meat off and served them with roasted garlic mashed potatoes... We topped the potatoes with mache and then drizzled a sour cherry merlot sauce around the duck. (dried sour cherries are soaked in a bottle of red wine over night. The wine and cherries are then simmered with a little cinnamon until the cherries are nice and soft and then everything is pureed and passed a few times through a fine mesh strainer. Solids are discarded and the liquid is reduced further, mixed with a little duck stock and then finished with cold butter... It's a great tasting richly colored sauce that goes perfectly with the duck).

When we ask our kids what they want for a special occasion dinner (like Christmas dinner) they ask for duck confit... It cracks me up.

Making the Green Sea Salt

The Salted Duck

Rendering the Fat

A long, slow 10-hours of cooking


brit.brit.brit said...

hey..i meant to ask.can we come over for some dinner..?!
holy a resturant already.

Byron said...

Anytime... I'll talk to Chessa. It's been a while since we did a fun friends dinner. We need to schedule something soon. I'll have plenty of time on my hands for the next little bit.