1 recipe Duck Confit
1/4 cup minced onions
1 tablespoon Cognac (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe of Polenta
2 tablespoons fat, reserved from the confit
1 scallop per serving
Red Wine reduction recipe
ABOUT DUCK CONFIT AND THE HEALTH
BENEFITS OF DUCK FAT
Duck confit is one of my favorite dishes to
cook. It can be made several days ahead and
stays well in the refrigerator immersed in duck
fat for weeks, although it will be long gone
by then. The only difficult part of the dish
is accumulating the duck fat which is rather
expensive now to purchase. For that reason I
tend to buy a whole duck, render my own duck
fat use the carcass for duck stock leaving the
breast for a magret dish and legs for confit.
Considering what a whole duck costs and what
the final products are: ducks are a great value
in cooking. Furthermore, what many cooks are
unaware of is the health benefits to duck fat.
I must admit I was unaware of this in my early
cooking days. But, many trips to France, and
spending time researching the field I am now
aware that duck fat has some very interesting
Duck fat contains 35.7% saturates, 50.5% monounsaturates
(high in linoleic acid) and 13.7% polyunsaturated
fats.(which contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 essential
oils). This compares to olive oil which is:
75% monounsaturated fat (mostly oleic acid)
13% saturated fat and 10% Omega-6 linoleic acid
and 2% Omega-3 linoleic acid. The main difference
between chicken, turkey and duck is that duck
contains more linoleic acid, which chicken and
turkey contain a higher amount of polyunsaturated
fats --- Read
more about Health Benefits of Duck Fat
Preparation of Duck Confit
One of two days ahead marinate the duck.6 tablespoons
of kosher salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon
cracked black pepper, 3 smashed and diced garlic
cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon crushed juniper
berries, 2 tablespoons fresh thyme.
Note: This is my standard marinade,
but you can either add or delete several items.
Some marinates work nice using ginger and star
anise instead of juniper berries. What's most
important is salt which will draw out moisture
from the legs. Just make sure to rinse and dry
the legs off before cooking or the dish will
be too salty.
I usually cook the duck for 3 hours and 225F
and then 2 hours at about 200F. If you are preparing
this dish for guests you can do the 3 hours
a few days before, then on the same day just
leave the pot in the oven for two hours at 200F.
You have to monitor this dish after 3 hours
to be careful that the duck does not release
from the bone. It won't be a problem with taste
but will be more difficult in presentation and
for crisping the skin.
Preparing the Rillettes
Mix the rillettes, cognac, salt and pepper,
and duck fat either by hand or using a food
processor. Only a few pulses will be needed.
Do not let the mixture turn into a paste!
Preparing the Scallops
Season with salt and pepper. Sauté
the scallop in duck fat.