Confit de canard is a great standby – instant food when you need it.
Here are eight ideas for dishes which can be made quickly using a tin or so in the larder (or some homemade confit de canard or of chicken in the fridge). But before you use it, remember to TAKE THE CONFIT OUT OF THE FRIDGE AND ALLOW IT TO REACH ROOM TEMPERATURE!!!!!!! Otherwise the legs will not come out easily, and you will end up tearing off bits of unruly flesh.
You can buy confit de canard in the UK at Confit de Canard or French Click.
NB: it’s very helpful to keep the tin out of the fridge (before opening) because it’s a lot easier to separate the flesh from the fat when the fat is not hard.
Roasting the confit de canard
Simply preheat an oven to 210°C. Put the duck legs, with a little of the fat, into a roasting tin, and roast for about twenty minutes, reducing the heat to about 180°C and continuing to cook for another ten minutes or so. Then serve with mashed potatoes, and some courgettes, or red cabbage, and either some plum and Bramley apple chutney (English Provender Company makes a good one). Or with a plum and juniper sauce.
Other ideas for things to do with confit de canard
- duckkeeper’s pie
- mix about six medium cooked carrots with a couple of knobs of butter and a tablespoon of pernod. Serve with the confit de canard, and some fried potatoes.
- make a toasted sandwich like no other toasted sandwich. Mix with mustard, garlic and morbier cheese. if you have an Aga put the filling between the bread and use the toaster. If you don’t spread a little butter on the outside surfaces of the bread and fry on both sides. If you can use Irish soda bread.
- serve it with plum chutney and mashed potato.
- layer with sliced celeriac and thyme, season. Pour in some stock (chicken or vegetable) to cover. Bake (in the bottom of the roasting oven if you have an Aga) for an hour covered with foil, remove the foil and continue to cook for another twenty minutes or so.
- Lois’s confit with white beans – preheat the oven to 210ºC, and put four legs of confit of chicken or duck (minus most of the fat of course) into a casserole for about twenty minutes to get it crispy. Meanwhile fry a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, add about six medium chopped plum tomatoes and two tins (800g/1lb 12 oz) of white cannellini beans), a tablespoon of marsala, 1 tablespoon of herbes de Provence, 2 tbsp of raisins, and two tbsp of orange juice. Mix in with the chicken or duck and bake, covered, for a further forty five minutes.
- I developed this a bit further: For 2 – soak 50g/⅓ cup raisins in red vermouth. Gently fry an onion in some of the duck fat. Add a tin of artichoke hearts (halved) and 8-10 sun dried tomatoes (these are essential to cut through the richness of this dish). Add four cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with a teaspoon of salt. Add the flesh, and a little of the fat of two confit duck legs, raise the heat a little. Add a tin of drained mixed beans. Add the raisins and vermouth. Cook gently for ten minutes or so. Serve.
- serve it as a starter in ramekins, with a little of the fat added in, together with parsley, pistachios, a little lemon juice… sourdough fingers.. and plum chutney.
- At the Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea they serve a confit duck leg with truffled lentils, peppery girolles and a thyme-infused jus.
This post is dedicated to Lois Adcock.