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I had started by taking out six duck legs to prepare for the confit this evening, which is a somewhat time-consuming affair involving overnight marination in the refrigerator, a couple of hours roasting in the oven, blah blah blah. It still could happen, that long-term duck confit business, but then, I found this Quick Duck Confit recipe online and figured….huh. Two duck legs for $6.75 or so? If this goes south, well…c’est la vie.

Where it got complicated was the salad–I had some young romaine lettuce in the fridge as well as a handful of young arugula leaves. My first thoughts was that a juicy pear in the salad would be nice, and fruit goes well with that rich, fatty duck. What else? Pecans, I thought. But…let’s make it more interesting…let’s candy those little guys with a little butter and brown sugar.

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Dressing? Lemon juice and hazelnut oil, roughly in equal volume though moving more in volume toward the hazelnut oil, with a spritz of kosher salt and a little squirt of maple syrup for sweetness.

And wine? All we had in the fridge was a Sauternes which…naah. I wanted something less sweet but hearty, so I got a cheap Riesling at Trader Joe’s as well as a bottle of a French Merlot/Cab mix. Will we open both bottles? Not sure. Its Monday night, a long week ahead.

Ooh. Ooh. I just checked the legs, and wow, they are browning nicely, even crisping a bit. Looks good. Now I turn up the heat to 375F for about 15 minutes or so to really get them brown. The duck legs have been in the oven for 90 minutes so far, and there is plenty of rendered fat, with which I’ll sautée the fingerlings I just parboiled while waiting.

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Hey, it’s nearly 830pm and no dinner yet ready, but don’t you think its worth a little wait every once in awhile?

Ahh. Oddly, the biggest hit with my wife was the salad of pecans, pears, and greens–and the dressing worked well. The fried fingerlings were ok, nothing to get excited about, but the duck was…different. Seems that while the legs were certainly cooked through adequately, and even the skin was slightly crisped in the last several minutes, the inner meat was oh-so-slightly missing out under the ‘tenderness’ descriptor.

Two reasons are possible–the legs could have possibly used another solid 30 minutes in the oven. Alternatively, when doing canard de confit ‘properly’ and not trying to save time, the legs are literally being poached in excessive loads of duck fat which would no doubt cook through the meat much more effectively, heated up as it was, than the relatively minimal amount of duck fat which was rendered from the legs.

So…not bad. Not a blast out of the park, at least for the duck, but even still, it wasn’t an awful duck meal.

Ahh. Finally, one of the benefits of cooking duck is the awesome amount of rendered duck fat you get. Here is what’s left after I cooked up a little of it to sauté the potatoes. If I had some cheesecloth, I’d filter it, but I don’t so it goes in the freezer for another time,

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From an alkaline dieter’s viewpoint, tonight was epic fail. The salad qualified, but caramelizing the pecans (alkaline) didn’t. Oh, well. Tomorrow morning we will have Cheerios and almond milk, Cheerios being a not too acidic grain cereal.

But then, there is that cup of coffee sitting beside it. Hey, we are healthy bodies…in progress.

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