Duck Confit with de Puy Lentils

Duck Confit

Fabio and myself are rather passionate about the food we eat, and fortunately many of our close friends are as well.  There are two couple friends of ours in particular that we get together with every couple of months or so for a theme dinner that one of us hosts.  We humbly call ourselves the ‘gourmet group‘ and while the whole point is to have a nice dinner together and catch up, there a few of us who take it quite seriously (we know who we are ;)).  We try to keep things casual so whoever is the host only needs to worry about preparing the entree and the others bring either the drinks or the dessert.  A couple of dinners ago we hosted a french night in honor of our recent trip to Paris and this is the meal we served.  

While we were in Paris, we had the good fortune of being hosted by one of Fabio’s good friends and her new husband.  We stayed in their home and they showed us around the city.  While the entire trip was wonderful, a highlight of our days in Paris was getting the chance to eat at some classic french bistros, including a memorable dinner where I had the most incredible duck confit.  I couldn’t wait to make my own duck confit once I returned home.   

Duck confit is simply duck meat that is cured with salt and then slow poached in its own fat.  Once the meat is cooked you can transfer the meat to a new container, strain the cooking fat overtop and as long as the meat is entirely covered with the fat, it will stay preserved for many weeks in the fridge.  When you are ready to eat the confit duck, you simply melt the fat, remove the duck legs, drain on paper towels and then fry them in a pan or roast in the oven until the skin is crispy and the meat is heated through.  

For our French night we paired our duck confit with a french lentils recipe by Jamie Oliver from his book titled ‘Food Escapes.‘  The night and dinner were certainly a success and that is why we wanted to share this one with all of you.  Enjoy!

Ingredients/Ingredientes

Duck Confit / Pato Confit

  • 6 legs of duck / Piernas de pato
  • 10 juniper berries / bayas de enebro
  • 4 cloves / clavos de olor
  • 2-3 handfuls of sea salt / pizcas de sal
  • 6-7 bay leaves / hojas de laurel
  • Small bunch of fresh thyme / un poco de tomillo
  • 3 3/4 pounds duck fat / libras de grasa de pato

Lentils / Lentejas

  • 2 Carrots (peeled and finely chopped) / zanahorias peladas y cortadas finamente
  • 2 Sticks of Celery (trimmed and finely chopped) / palitos de apio cortados finamente
  • 2 Onions (peeled and finely chopped) / cebollas cortadas finamente
  • Duck fat or olive oil / grasa de pato o aceite de oliva
  • 2 1/2 cups de Puy Lentils / tazas de lentejas
  • 5 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock / tazas de caldo de pollo o verduras
  • 1 Potato (peeled and roughly chopped) / papa pelada y cortada finamente
  • 7 ounces of baby spinach / oz de espinaca pequeña
  • sea salt and pepper / sal y pimienta
  • Red wine vinegar /vinagre de vino tinto
  • Sour cream or Creme Fraiche / crema agria

Bouquet garni 

  • 1 celery stick / palito de apio
  • small bunch of fresh thyme / un poco de tomillo
  • small bunch of flat leaf parsley / un poco de perejil
  • 1 bay leaf / hoja de laurel

Duck confit Instructions / Instrucciones para el Pato Confit

  • Place the duck legs in a roasting pan.  Crush the juniper berries and cloves in a morter and pestle (or with a rolling pin in a plastic bag) and sprinkle over the duck along with the salt.  tear the bay leaves and the thyme over the duck as well.  Rub the duck legs well with all the flavorings then cover the pan and place in the fridge overnight / Coloque las patas de pato en un recipiente. Machacar las bayas de enebro y los clavos en una bolasa de plástico (con un rodillo) y espolvorear esto  sobre el pato junto con la sal. Colocar  las hojas de laurel y el tomillo sobre el pato también. Mezclar bien con el pato las especias aromáticas , luego tapar el recipiente y colocar en la heladera durante la noche.
  • The next day rinse the duck legs under cold water to clean off all the salt and spices and pat them dry with paper towels /Al día siguiente, lavar las patas de pato con agua fría para limpiar toda la sal y las especias y secar ligeramente con papel de toalla.
  • Place the duck legs into a large pot over medium low heat and cover with the melted duck fat / Colocar las patas del pato en una grande caserola con la toda la grasa de pato que está ya derretida.

Duck Confit

  • Leave the pot to slowly cook the duck for the next 2 and half hours.  Once the time is up, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool down.  To check if the meat is done, use a wooden skewer to poke through the duck meat – if it is done the skewer should easily slide in and out / Dejar cocinar el pato por 2 horas. Cuando esté listo remover del fuego y dejar enfriar, para saber si el pato está listo meter un palillo de madera en la carne y si es que está bien blando el pato queire decir que está listo.
  • Once the duck has cooled down, ladle some fat into a large bowl, then using tongs move the duck legs one by one into the bowl and cover with the remaining duck fat so that the duck legs are entirely submerged – this will allow the duck legs to stay preserved until you are ready to use them / Una vez que esté frio sacar las patas de pato a otro contenedor y colocar la grasa también hasta que tape todo el pato, esto va a ayudar a que se preserve la carne hasta cuando quieras utilizarla, colocar en la heladera.

Lentils /  Lentejas

  • Cook the chopped carrots, celery and onions in a dutch oven over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil or duck fat.  Cook for around 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have begun to soften / Cocinar las cebollas, zanahorias  y los apios sobre fuego medio con algunas cucharadas de aceite de oliva o grasa de pato. Cocianrlos por 10 minutos hasta que estén blandos.

Chopped carrots, onions, celery and bouquet garni

  • Make the bouquet Garni by tying together the celery, thyme, parsley and bay leaf with string / Hacer el bouquet Garni colocando juntos el apio, parejil y hoja de laurel atándolos juntos.
  • Once the vegetables are ready, add the lentils, the stock, the diced potatoes and add the bouquet garni  / Cuando los vegetales estén juntos agregar las lentejas, el caldo, papa y el bouquet garni.

cooking the mirepoix

  • Keep an eye on the lentils and occasionally stir to keep anything from burning and cook for 45 minutes.  The lentils should be soft and most of the liquid absorbed / Cocianr todo por 45 minutos, siempre tratando de mover con una cuchara las lentejas de vez en cuando ya que puede quemarse el fondo de la olla.
  • While the Lentils are cooking, remove the duck legs from the fat and set on paper towels to drain / Remover las patas de pato de la grasa y ponerlas sobre papel toalla.

de Puy Lentils

  • When the lentils are finished, remove the bouquet garni, roughly chop the spinach and stir into the lentils cooking everything for a couple minutes more / Cuando las lentejas estén listas remover el bouquet garni, cortar las espinacas y colocarlas a las lentejas, cocianar por algunos minutos más.

Spinach and Lentils

  • Season the lentils with salt and pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.  Stir everything one last time and check the flavors again / Colcar sal y pimienta al gusto y agregar un poco de aceite de oliva con 1-2 cucharadas de vinagre de vino tinto.

Duck Confit

  • To serve, spoon the lentils onto plates add a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche and swirl into the lentils – top with a duck leg that you have roasted or fried till the skin is crispy and serve! / Para servir, colocar las lentejas con un poco de crema agria, encima colocar la pata de pato que haz frito o asado hasta que el cuero este crocante. Provecho!

Duck Confit... Provecho!

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2 thoughts on “Duck Confit with de Puy Lentils

  1. lovely, thank you James and Fabio. I am so enjoying these recipes and the narratives you put with them. Keep them coming. I can’t wait to try this one when we get back to Vancouver from the warm sunshine of Maui. We actually overlap by 2 days with your Mom and Dad James, so that will be lovely.

    Aloha from Maui,

    Mahalo (Thank you in Hawaiian)

    Jayne

  2. don’t try as much as I should just cooked this and gave to my girlfriends 18year old daughter who doesn’t eat much different stuff…………she has just come down for another plate. Thanks guys

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