A lot of our grocery shopping experience has changed, I’ve noticed. New supermarket chain is moving into the area. Old supermarkets are constantly refashioning their look and feel and format. Amazon has purchased Whole Foods. Farmers’ markets are popping up in nearby towns, big and small, and drawing big crowds. This is all for the better in view of the expanded offerings and lower prices of the healthy, natural and “exotic” food I crave. I used to have to order duck confit online and paid a hefty price for it. Now I can find fresh duck legs on the shelf regularly in the local market. Here is another item to mark on the list of things I’m most grateful for this year. Hope against hope, maybe the supply gap between food desert and food oasis will narrow.
I can’t be happier to be able to make my own counterfeit duck confit – and with good results. The shattering skin fried to a crisp in velvety duck fat. Tender meat that easily pulls away from the bone. Meanwhile, you don’t need an insane amount of duck fat normally required to make the duck confit, using this “counterfeit” recipe.
This is another wonderful idea from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. It’s real good, taste-wise. Really, there is nothing fake about it, other than the fact that it is not literally “preserved” for long shelf life. These days, that’s the robot job reserved for the refrigerator.
What you don’t expect is how short the ingredient list is. All you need, besides the duck thighs, are salt, gin, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, garlic and bay leaves. Combine the list of ingredients into a spice mixture and marinate the duck thighs overnight. The key is to tightly pack the duck legs in an ovenproof pan. Next, slow roast at low 300°F temperature oven for 2 1/2 hours. From time to time, bast the legs with the duck fat pooling in the pan. Finally, to get the skin crispy and browned, turn up the oven temperature to 375°F for an additional 15-20 minutes.
It is so simple to do, yet the results are so spectacular. (See whether our friends at Cook-the-Book Fridays agree with my take on this recipe or not.) Best of all, the texture of the duck confit is better than what I used to order. This recipe is a keeper for sure. I served the duck confit in a salad with fresh cherries, chipotle spiced mixed nuts and a simple vinaigrette dressing. When I turned around, the salad and all the duck confit were gone. Next time, I’ll cook a bigger batch. Freeze it so I’ll have duck confit, counterfeit or not, ready to go when the mood strikes.
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