DUCK CONFIT, PATE, PROSCIUTTO AND SAUSAGE

For Confit:

  • 6 duck legs
  • 3 each of gizzards, hearts and neck
  • 6 Tablespoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 3 sprigs of thyme minced
  • 1 ground clove star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 3 ground juniper berries
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups duck fat

 

Combine the salt with all of the spices.  Rub them into the duck legs and make sure it is equally distributed. Cover in plastic wrap and leave for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, rinse the salt mixture off the meat and dry each part. Set in a high pan or casserole dish.  Heat up the duck fat and pour it over the legs and other bits.  Cover the pan with tin foil and cook in the oven at 180°-200° for 8 hours.

Remove the duck from the oven, and take off the tin foil.  Let cool in refrigerator.  This will last for several weeks and will even improve with time.

Serve the hearts and gizzards sliced at room temperature in a salad, or mixed in with pasta or risotto.  Same for the duck neck.  For the confit leg, crisp in a pan and serve with kale and lentils, or a salad of bitter greens.

For Rillette:

Take the hearts and gizzards and cut into small pieces, combine with the duck meat in a kitchen aid with a padel attachement.  On medium, mix with congealed duck fat.  This is the minimum work for rillette.  I like to add a little mustard, chives, parsley and tarragon to the mix.  Eat on toast, or to preserve, put in a container and pour hot duck fat over the top, thus creating a lid.  It will last several weeks in the refrigerator.

For Pate:

  • 6 duck livers
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 Cup cream
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola oil
  • 3 Tablespoons brandy

 

Soak livers in milk overnight.

Heat canola oil until just before smoking.  Dry off duck livers and salt heavily.  Fry in the canola oil until nicely caramelized on both sides (They should be cooked to a light medium). Remove the livers and deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping the bottom of the pan to break off all of the liver remnants, pour the deglazed pan juices over the livers.  Add butter and a half an onion (diced).  Saute until translucent, or cook a little further until caramelized for a slightly sweeter pate.  Once the onions are cooked through, add the cream and let it reduce with the onions by about half.  Let the onion mixture cool for about 10 minutes then puree with the livers until smooth. Taste for salt and add as necessary.  If you want it to be a little more mellow in flavor add some cold butter to the blender, this will stiffen the pate as well.

For Prosciutto:

  • 6 Duck Breasts
  • 6 Cups Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Grind the spices and equally distribute amongst the breasts.  Pour some salt into a non-reactive pan or container.  Lay the duck breasts down, side by side (try not to have them touching). Cover completely with salt.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.

The next day, wash off the salt.  Dry thoroughly, wrap in cheese cloth and hang in a cool and humid spot for 1 -2 weeks depending on the size of the breast.

 

For Sausage:

Because I had so many ducks, I used only the tenders. With limited duck, use the breast meat.

  • 3 duck breasts
  • 2 livers
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 sprig Rosemary (miced)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Put the duck breasts through a meat grinder twice along with the liver. Then, with a paddle attachment, mix the meat, garlic and rosemary for a minute on medium speed. Taste the sausage by cooking up a tiny piece, and adjust salt.  At this point you can have the sausage as is, or you can get some sheep casing and fill your own sausage, although with this small amount in may not be worth the effort.