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Chef Fest 2015

Recipe: Lacquered Duck Confit with Cracked Green Olive

By July 14, 2016 No Comments
Chef

Naomi Pomeroy

Restaurant

Beast

Recipe: Lacquered Duck Confit with Cracked Green Olive

Serves: 8

What’s Inside

Making the Spice Blend

Step 1) In a medium skillet, lightly toast all spices, with the exception of the bay leaves. You will know the spices are properly toasted when they begin to slightly change color and their aromatic oils begin to release a lovely fragrance.

Step 2) Add the toasted spices and bay leaves to a spice grinder (or a coffee grinder reserved for this purpose) and finely grind. Shake spices through a mesh strainer to ensure that there are no large, un-blended spices. Re-grind as necessary.

Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 6 juniper berries
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
What’s Inside

The Duck

Step 1) Make the duck legs: Rinse the duck and dry it well on a paper towel. At the end of the long bone opposite the meaty side, use a sharp paring knife or good kitchen shears to score all the way around the circumference of the bone to cut away any tendon, which helps prevent any meat from tearing. This will create a more beautiful presentation.

Step 2) Combine the salt with the spice mix. Season each leg with about ¾ teaspoon of the salt-spice mix, evenly on both sides, and place in a single layer in a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish or Dutch oven. Place the dish in refrigerator overnight.

Ingredients
  • 10-12 duck legs (preferably 6-8 ounces each, from Muscovy ducks)
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorn
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 6 juniper berries
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
What’s Inside

Duck: Day 2

Step 1) The next day, take the duck legs out of the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove and dry each of the duck legs. Clean out the dish and return the dried duck legs to it. Add the garlic and thyme. In a small saucepan over low heat, gently warm the duck fat. Pour the fat over the duck legs so that they’re completely submerge and covered by at least ¼” of fat. (If necessary, some of the legs can be moved into a second dish and covered in fat, so long as they’re all still completely submerged, meaning that you may need a little more fat.)

Step 2) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit over the top of the dish, then completely cover the top with foil. Place the dish onto a sheet tray to catch any bubbling fat that might spill over into the oven. Place the dish into the oven and set a timer to check on it in one hour. Depending on the size of your legs, they can take anywhere from 1 ½ to 3 hours to cook.

Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic, cut into quarters (no need to peel the cloves)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 3 quarts duck fat (more if the duck legs are closer to 10-12 ounces)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt per leg for duck /8 teaspoons
What’s Inside

Cooking the Duck

Step 1) You’ll know the duck is finished when you carefully remove one leg from the fat and place it on a plate, then, using your tongs, press down with medium pressure at the place where the meat and the bone join in the crook of the thigh. The meat will begin to release easily from the bone.

Step 2) When the duck is cooked, remove the foil and parchment and allow the legs to cool for 20 minutes in the duck fat before moving them onto a parchment-lined sheet tray. Reserve the duck fat in a plastic container and place the sheet tray with the legs in the refrigerator overnight.

What’s Inside

Relish

For the relish, combine the olives and prunes in a medium mixing bowl. In a small saute pan, warm half of the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallot, garlic and chili flakes. Lower heat to ensure nothing gets color. Add fennel pollen. As soon as the shallot and garlic are translucent, after about 5 minutes, remove them from heat and add to the prune and olive mix. Add sherry vinegar and additional olive oil and stir. Set aside.

Ingredients
  • 8 oz unsalted butter
  • 8 oz brown sugar
  • 6 oz bread flour
  • 6 oz cake flour
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
What’s Inside

Making the Lacquer

On the day of serving, make the lacquer: Pull the duck legs out of the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature. In a small saucepan, heat the sherry vinegar over medium-high heat. Add muscovado sugar and salt and bring to a boil until slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

If this mixture has thickened too much upon cooling, add a splash of sherry vinegar. Its consistency when hot should be slightly thinner than honey (when room temperature it should be thicker, but still brushable). Leave this out at room temperature; it will harden it it gets too cold.

Ingredients
  • ½ cup aged sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup muscovado or dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
What’s Inside

Searing & Lacquering

Step 1) Preheat oven to 400F°. In each of two medium-sized nonstick or cast iron (oven-proof) pans, heat 2 tablespoons of the duck fat used to confit the duck over medium-high heat. Sear the duck legs, skin side down, weighing them down onto the pan with a heavy plate, until golden brown, approximately 1-2 minutes. Check frequently for an even, golden brown, crisp surface. Remove the plate and flip the legs.

Step 2) Brush the legs with a thin layer of the lacquer. Add about ¼ cup water to the bottom of each pan to prevent the sugars from sticking. Move the pans to oven and cook until the lacquer is bubbling, 5-6 minutes.

Finishing Touches

Assemble

Remove the pans from the oven and serve immediately. Serve with cracked green olive & Armagnac prune relish.