5th April 2020
Confit duck leg
Confit comes from the french confire, meaning "to preserve". This emphasizes the importance of the marinating step in duck confit recipes.
4 x 320g Duck legs
500g duck fat
4 bunched carrots
1 hispi cabbage
20g sweet stem ginger, grated with syrup
½ bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
½ bunch of chives, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely diced, seed removed
FOR THE CONFIT SALT
50g Maldon salt
2 juniper berries
1 sprig of thyme
1 star anise
MARINATING THE DUCK LEGS
For the confit salt put all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and crush to a fine salt. Score the duck legs around the knuckle. Season heavily with the confit salt, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
COOKING THE DUCK LEGS
Preheat the oven to 130°C. Rinse excess salt off the legs. In an ovenproof casserole dish, melt the duck fat, add the legs then cover with parchment paper and tin foil. Cook for 5-6 hours or until tender. Remove the dish and let the fat cool slightly before removing the duck legs. Remove the thighbones by gently twisting them out. Press the legs between two trays and refrigerate until needed. Pass the fat through a sieve and keep for next time.
HISPI & STEM GINGER & CHILLI CABBAGE
Blanch the diced chilli to remove the heat but keep the flavour, strain and mix with the stem ginger. Shred the cabbage and blanch in seasoned water. Refresh and set aside. To reheat, melt the 50g of butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the cabbage and warm through. Add the ginger and chilli mix, spring onion, chives and season to taste.
Peel the carrot but leave on 1.5cm of the green top. Cook in an emulsion of seasoned water, butter, sugar and star anise until soft.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a non-stick pan and pan-fry the duck leg, skin side down, until crispy. This may need a few attempts depending on the size of your pan. On a tray lined with greaseproof paper, place the duck legs skin side up with the carrots and reheat for about six minutes. Serve on a bed of hispi cabbage. Chef’s tip: Goes well with a red wine gravy.