What’s Duck Confit?

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Duck confit is a French dish made by slow-roasting duck legs in their own fat, often with herbs and spices. The dish can be preserved for several months by placing it in jars with fat. It can be cooked at home with just duck and salt.

First created in France, duck confit is a dish consisting of duck legs slowly roasted in their own fat. Originally a method of preserving duck meat, duck confit has long been regarded as a rich and savory dish. The cooking process makes the duck both tender and flavorful, and if properly contained, it can keep for several months. Available in French restaurants, this dish is also quite easy to cook at home.

Duck confit normally uses whole, attached duck legs and legs. Occasionally, the wings may also be used. Duck fat is also required. Salt is an essential ingredient and other herbs and spices are often used as well. Fresh thyme, bay leaves, garlic, shallots and peppercorns can all be chosen to season this dish. Pepper, both ground and fine, is also often used.

Duck feet are usually placed in a roasting pan that has been seasoned with salt. The other toppings are placed on top of the meat, then the dish is chilled in the refrigerator for a day or two. This allows the meat to absorb the flavors of the seasonings.

When the duck is ready to roast, the seasonings are brushed off the duck and the melted duck fat is poured over the meat. Then, the legs are cooked for several hours at a setting no higher than 300°F; (149C;). When the duck is ready, the meat should be easily separated from the bone.

Duck confit can be eaten immediately, but some or all of the meat is often saved for later use. The meat is removed from the bones and placed in jars. Then, portions of fat are poured on top of the meat and the jars are sealed tightly.

There are three things that make this an effective preservation method. First, the sealed jars help inhibit anything from coming into contact with the meat. Second, the salt used in the cooking process helps deter unwanted microorganisms. Finally, the fat cover offers further protection against spoilage as it provides a barrier between the meat and the air.

The fastest ways to cook this dish require only duck and salt. The skin and fat from the legs are pricked with a needle to promote crunchiness. Then, the legs are heavily salted and slow cooked in a saucepan filled with duck fat or vegetable oil. The duck is ready to eat in a few hours.

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