Confit duck in the making at Direct Meats
Our chef Tom's special secret recipe for his confit duck, which is utterly delicious and we highly recommend it!
While confit duck is made across France, it really seen as a specialty of Gascony. The confit is prepared in a centuries-old process of preservation that consists of salt curing a piece of meat (generally goose, duck, or pork) and then cooking it in its own fat.
To prepare a confit, the meat is rubbed with salt, garlic, and sometimes herbs such as thyme, then covered and refrigerated for up to 36 hours. Salt-curing the meat acts as a preservative.
Prior to cooking, the spices are rinsed from the meat, which is then patted dry. The meat is placed in a cooking dish deep enough to contain the meat and the rendered fat, and placed in an oven at a low temperature. The meat is slowly poached at least until cooked, or until meltingly tender, generally four to ten hours.
The meat and fat are then removed from the oven and left to cool. When cool, the meat can be transferred to a canning jar or other container and completely submerged in the fat.
The cooking fat acts as both a seal and preservative and results in a very rich taste. Skipping the salt curing stage greatly reduces the shelf life of the confit.