I will always remember the first time I had Duck Confit. My first trip to Europe as an adult was with my daughter, Maya, when she was 9 years old. We went to Paris, of course! I don't remember which café it was--perhaps Café de Flore or another Left Bank café--where we ate outside and the little birds would come and eat the crumbs right from the tables. We didn't know what Duck Confit was, but it sounded recognizable. And so we ordered it.
Oh! The pleasure!
It was served crispy and plain, on a plate with a few perfect haricot verts (blanched thin green beans) and a salad of frissée with a Dijon vinaigrette. Perfection! The tanginess of the vinaigrette is a perfect tonic for the melt-in-your-mouth crispy fattiness of the duck.
I later researched and learned how confit is made. Suffice it to say, you are better off buying the already confited legs at the supermarket. D'Artagnan is the only brand I've ever seen and it's perfection! I am probably the only mother in Pennsylvania whose kids ask for Duck Confit for their birthday dinners. And it's so freaking easy. It's the perfect weeknight meal if you don't feel like doing much. But you do need a good solid hour to roast the legs to the right crispiness.
Duck Confit NOT from Scratch
Buy as many individually wrapped duck legs as you need (I like to make an extra to eat cold the next day!).
1. Take duck legs out of the plastic and put them in a roasting pan.
2. Roast for an hour at 350 or 375°.
3. Serve with a salad (preferably frisée) with a basic vinaigrette made from a mixture of wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and olive oil.Salad dressing:
- 1 part wine vinegar
- 1 squirt Dijon mustard
- 3 parts good olive oil
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com