Hexagone’s Moscovy Duck Breast and Leg Confit with Orange Sauce
• Ingredients for the Confit:
1 large head garlic, left unpeeled, plus 4 large cloves, divided
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 teaspoon Quatre épices (French four-spice blend)
2 large shallots, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California, crumbled
6 fresh Moulard, Muscovy, or Long Island (Pekin) duck legs (5 pounds total)
2 whole cloves
5 (7-ounce) containers rendered duck fat
A deep-fat thermometer
Wide, large heavy pot
Large, heavy nonstick skillet
Large, saute pan
• Preparation for the Duck Leg Confit:
Mince and mash 4 garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir together paste, kosher salt (1/4 cup), thyme, quatre épices, shallots, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Add duck legs and toss to coat, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
Wipe off marinade with paper towels. Trim off 1/4 inch from top of garlic head, then stick 2 whole cloves into head.
Melt duck fat in a wide large heavy pot over low heat, then cook garlic head and duck legs, uncovered, over low heat until fat registers approximately 190-degrees F, about 1 hour. Continue to cook duck, maintaining a temperature of 190 to 210°F, until a wooden pick slides easily into thighs, 2 to 3 hours more.
Transfer duck with a slotted spoon to a large bowl (reserve garlic for another use if desired). Slowly pour duck fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a large crock or deep bowl, leaving any cloudy liquid or meat juices in bottom of pot, then pour strained fat over duck legs to cover by 1 inch. (If necessary, shorten drumstick bones 1 to 2 inches using a large heavy knife to fit legs more tightly in bowl.)
Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then chill, covered, at least 8 hours.
Just before serving, remove duck from fat (reserve fat for another use, such as frying), scraping off most of fat, then cook, skin side down, in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over low heat, covered, until skin is crisp and duck is heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.
• Preparation for the Duck Breast:
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F.
Set a large saute pan over medium heat.
Season the duck breasts with 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Lay the duck breasts skin-side down in the hot saute pan and sear until golden brown and most of the fat had rendered from the skin, about 8 minutes.
Pour off the excess fat from the pan, and turn the breasts over.
Continue to cook the breasts on the flesh side for another 8 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and place in the oven. Cook for 5 minutes, and remove to cool before slicing.
Slice the duck thinly using an electric knife or a carving knife.
• Preparation for the Orange Sauce:
For the orange sauce, bring the chicken stock to the boil in a pan. Boil for 4-5 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by half and the stock resembles syrup. Add orange juice and zest and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Pour a small amount of orange sauce to the serving plate, before placing the duck breast and leg confit on top of the sauce.
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