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Duck Leg Confit with Warm Green Lentil Salad

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Bistro
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Active Time:  2 Hours 20 Minutes
Total Time:  41 Hours 25 Minutes
  Serves 4
The tradition of cooking and then storing duck in its own fat goes back to the Moors, who passed through southwest France in the 8th century a.d. Although confit was once prepared as a means to preserve meat over long periods of time, it is now prized for its succulence and intense flavor.
For Confit
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
4 duck legs, about 3/4 lb each
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves, torn in half
5 lb duck or pork fat, cut into pieces
For Lentil Salad:
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried green lentils
bouquet garni
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup veal stock or chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Other necessary recipes:
Vinaigrette Chicken Stock
Duck Leg Confit with Warm Green Lentil Salad Recipe at
FOR CONFIT: Rub the 1 tablespoon salt and the cracked pepper evenly over the duck legs and place in a shallow glass dish. Place 1 clove garlic, a thyme sprig and half of a bay leaf on each leg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, to render the duck or pork fat, place the fat in a heavy-bottomed pan over low heat. Cook slowly until all the fat liquifies, any tissue has become crispy and the impurities sink to the bottom of the pan. This should take 2-3 hours. Pour the clear fat through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth (muslin) into a large saucepan.

Cut the duck legs in half to separate the thighs and drumsticks. Place the meat, along with the thyme, garlic and bay leaves, into the melted fat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the meat is easily pierced with a fork and the juices run clear, about 2 1/2 hours.

Using tongs, carefully transfer the meat to a deep earthenware bowl or terrine. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth (muslin) and strain enough of the fat through the sieve to cover the meat completely. Let cool until the fat hardens fully. Make sure that the duck pieces are totally sealed in the fat so that no air can reach them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or for up to 3 weeks.

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

FOR LENTIL SALAD: Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Rinse the lentils under cold running water. Add the lentils, bouquet garni, the 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper to the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove the duck legs from the fat, scraping off as much of the excess fat as possible. Place the meat, skin side down, in a roasting pan. Place in the oven until the skin is crispy and the meat is hot throughout, about 15 minutes.

When the lentils are cooked, drain them in a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the bouquet garni and place the lentils in a saucepan. Add the stock and vinaigrette and bring to a boil. Stir in the parsley, then taste and adjust the seasoning.

Spoon a bed of lentils onto warmed individual plates and place the hot duck legs on top. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 926
Fat. Total: 66g
Fiber: 12g
Carbohydrates, Total: 45g
Sodium: 2446mg
% Cal. from Fat: 64%
Cholesterol: 128mg
Protein: 38g
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