Duck Confit

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pcieluck, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Yet to try it, but I love duck. But there's three factors wrong with it. 1. Just like chicken, duck is most economically purchased whole, 2. I'm a single man cooking for himself 99% of the time, and 3. Duck doesn't stay fresh very long. So preserving it seems necessary.  I've enough education under my belt to be very aware of the dangers of botulism, but confit and preserving is a subject yet to be covered in my culinary classes or my work experience. So question is, how is confit done safely?  Considering attempting a home made saurkraut for the occasion too.  
     
  2. thetincook

    thetincook

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    1) Nitrates or nitrites in the cure (always forgetting which one)

    2) Can the legs, or just the meat, with duck fat after cooking.

    3) After the intial cooking, let it chill, and remove the duck gellee. Get every thing hot again, and chill properly. The free moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria. Save the gellee, it's a wonderfull ingredient.

    4) As a single man, you should know that chicks dig confit. There shouldn't be enough left overs waiting to rot.
     
  3. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Yeah but the trick is getting them to accept that invitation to dinner.
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    "Say, wanna see my etchings confit?" /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
     
  5. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Hey baby, wanna monte aux buerre?/img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
     
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    FWIW I've never heard of nitrates or nitrites in duck confit. I've eaten duck confit all my life, mostly store bought, and I've never seen nitrates or nitrites listed in the ingredients. I have a can in front of me, ingredients are listed as:

    Duck legs

    Duck fat

    Salt

    I've never made my own though - but none of my books list nitrates or nitrites as an ingredient. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  7. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Seemed like the natural addition if one was concerned about food borne illness. Confit is the perfect anaerobic environment.
     
  8. someday

    someday

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    If you make a confit properly there is VERY little danger of botulism. 

    Best bet is to cure the duck legs overnight, rinse, and pat dry. Place snugly in a oven proof dish (dutch oven, casserole, whatever) and cover with clean, rendered duck fat. Place in an oven, set at about 300 (though lower is OK too, 250-300) and cook until the duck is very tender. Take out of oven, cool to room temp, then place in fridge to store. 

    Easy. 

    When needed, you can either gently warm the pan and take out the duck once the fat melts, or just reach in the cold fat and fish out the legs. 

    Refrigeration will lessen the likelihood of botulism quite a bit (though the danger is small to begin with). If you notice any green mold or anything in the fat or on the pan after some time in the fridge, probably should throw it out, though this is unlikely to happen. 
     
  9. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    I understand this is as safe as eating a can of green beans if done right, I'm just looking for all the tips to do this safely as possible. I don't think i'll can them though. I'll probably eatit within a few days, unless I make that sauerkraut.
     
  10. someday

    someday

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    I don't understand what you are concerned about....the way to prevent botulism is to cook it (which you will do for several hours above 250 degrees) and store it in the fridge. I don't think you need to "can" them at all...most people just store it covered in the fat it cooked in.

    You could also, very simply, after the confit is out of the oven but before it cools completely, take duck legs out and place them in a fresh, sterilized container (another casserole or pot that you have boiled for several minutes) and strain the fat over them in the new dish. 

    People have historically just stored this stuff in the cellar without refrigeration. 

    There are like 20 cases of botulism a year...almost all of them from home canning. 

    You'll be fine, don't be scared to make duck confit. 
     
  11. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I've made rillettes du porc, which is somewhat similar in preparation. After simmering the meat, spices and aromatics, I fished out the meat, shredded it and chilled it. I strained the fat. Then I put the cooled, shredded pork in a small crock with a lid that had a rubber seal. Re-melted the fat (just warm enough to liquefy) and poured it into the crock until it was just below the lid. I sealed it and chilled it. It kept for about 10 days; none of the meat tasted "off" or bad.

    Assuming you have a properly-functioning refrigerator, I'd give it at least 10 days so long as it's submerged in the fat and chilled.

    Bonne chance! Good luck with your confit.

    Mezzaluna
     
  12. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    I'm having a very hard time finding any duck fat in the metro-detroit area.  Considering doing one of two things. Just roasting a batch really low and slow, accepting the fact that the first batch will not be completely submerged in the fat and not a true "confit" or augmenting with a different fat to get the reserve of fat going.  any suggestions? I understand a moulard duck has more than enough fat on it's own body but I know there's a snowball's chance in hell of finding that around here if I cant even find a tub of duck fat. 
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  13. highlander01

    highlander01

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    About the only place that I have found duck fat is online I have checked about every specialty food store that I can find in my area and I have yet to find duck fat locally.

    Am I wrong but for it to be confit, for it to have that tenderness doesn't the meat have to be fully immerged in the fat while being cooked?
     
  14. chefross

    chefross

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    Up in these parts Sysco Grand Rapids carries duck fat in 5# tubs....
     
  15. bazza

    bazza

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    I also have problems getting duck fat, I always use use goose fat it is just as good if you can get hold of it, and yes the meat should be fully immersed although I would not worry about a few bits poking out of the top, you can move them around after an hour or two. 
     
  16. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Yeah. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a confit is poaching technique. What I'm talking about would just be a braise but... at least it'd get me started. Or I might augment the ducks own fat with canola. 
     
  17. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    So I've got a duck parted (yes i am finally weeks later getting around to trying this out).  I'm now in the curing stage. But I've got all this excess skin and fat that i've trimmed off off of the parts so they'd look nice, and from the back of the carcass.  So my question is: What is the best way to render the liquid fat out of these excess fat trimmings?  I couldn't find a tub of duck fat anywhere, so I will be using pure olive oil to augment the duck's fat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    put in a saucepan and add cold wayer bring up to a simmer and let it contiue to simmer a while on  low flame. water will evaporate away leaving fat only strain twice while hot thru cheesecloth.
     
  19. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I feel very ambivalent about being so blunt but don't know any other way to go about it.  This is about as wrong as it could possibly be.
    1. No nitrate and/or nitrite cure; 
    2. No canning;
    3. No gelee;
    4. No chill / hot again / chill properly;
    5. No free moisture; and
    6. By definition, confit is "leftovers."  
    Making confit is a fairly straightforward process.  There are recipes all over the net, mine is nothing special other than that I don't measure, and not worth repeating since you can find a great many just as good. It's the process more than the exact ingredients which makes confit so good.

    The leg quarters are "marinated" for a day or two in a mix of a few dry spices -- which do not contain "curing salts;" they are brushed clean of the marinade.

    Meanwhile the cook melts enough duck fat in a pot to fully submerge the quarters (the fat might be mildly seasoned with a bay leaf or two, and perhaps a few cloves or a trimmed head of garlic; the quarters are fully submerged in the just-melted fat;  the heat is slowly raised to poaching temperature (190 - 205F); the temperature is held until the quarters are cooked to "very tender;' are first poached in mildly seasoned duck fat (about 2 hours). 

    When the legs are done, they are wiped clean; and the fat is carefully strained so that it's very clean.  The quarters are placed in a clean bowl or pan, and completely submerged in the purified fat.  The fat is allowed to cool to room temp, then placed -- uncovered -- in the refrigerator.  When it is quite cold, it may be covered -- preferably with something close and reasonably air-tight.  The confit (both fat and duck) will keep for about 3 months refrigerated. 

    Chilled, clarified fat doesn't breed bacteria easily; while the duck meat is held submerged and anaerobic.  Properly speaking, one doesn't say a confit is preserved.  Rather, it's a preservation method itself.

    If you can't find enough duck or goose fat to submerge the duck, don't make confit.  Substituting vegetable oil for fat is like deep frying in water.  It is what it is. Sorry if I stepped on any toes.

    Hope this clarifies,

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  20. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Wrong? I think not so much. We can discuss the 'correct' way to make confit all day long, but the OP asked for technique to reduce the threat of botulism, and I obliged.

    Botulinum thrives in a moist, non acidic, anaerobic environment. Which pretty much describes confit.