November 5, 2014

What the duck? A Delicious Recipe for Counterfeit Duck Confit

After recently purchasing David Lebovitz’s latest cookbook, “My Paris Kitchen”, I was eager to start trying my hand at some of his mouthwatering recipes. I’d had my eye on the “Counterfeit duck confit” in particular, and finally had a chance to test it out this past weekend.

Before moving to France, I swore that I would never eat duck. I’m not really sure what I had against it at the time…perhaps it’s because they’re really cute? But upon tasting my first confit de canard at a Parisian brasserie in 2010, I discovered what I had been missing out on for all those years.

Normally a long, labor-intensive dish, David’s simple adaptation of this classic French recipe makes it accessible to chefs at all levels.

Following the recipe to a tee, the results were outstanding: perfectly browned crisp skin, succulent meat that fell off the bone and an aromatic and flavorful juice that would be delicious on just about anything.

As this is quite a heavy dish, I opted to forgo the traditional potatoes as a side, and served it with a mixed green salad and light homemade vinaigrette. 

Counterfeit duck confit
Adapted from “My Paris Kitchen” by David Lebovitz

4 duck thighs
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon gin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
2 bay leaves

The night before…
Prick several holes through the duck skin using a needle.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, gin, nutmeg and allspice.
Rub the duck on both sides with this mixture.
Place the bay leaves and garlic on the bottom of a baking dish, just big enough to fit the meat snugly.
Place the coated duck thighs on top, skin side up, assuring that the garlic is covered.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours).

To cook the duck…
Remove the plastic and blot each thigh with a paper towel to soak up any extra salt.
Place the dish, uncovered, in a cold oven, and bake for 2 ½ hours at 300° F (150°C). 
Feel free to baste with the pooled juices regularly.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and skin is crispy and golden brown.
Serve immediately.

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