I always stock up on the things that aren't easily available here -
So yesterday I was in Tesco's and I picked up the latest Jamie (Oliver) magazine. Now I have to admit he wouldn't be one of my hero chefs but glancing thru the magazine I noticed a recipe for Duck confit and the duck legs that were in my freezer called to me and said "Confit me, confit me". Now, I have never confit-ed anything before - is confit-ed a real verb????? But jamie's recipe sounded ok, apart from calling for duck fat - didn't have any so I checked out another couple of duck confit recipes when I got home and The Cliff House cookbook had confit duck legs but confit-ed in sunflower oil so I subbed the sunflower oil for the duck fat.
Here's what's needed:
Recipe is not strictly true to Jamie's one and has been altered a little.
2 Duck legs
A few Juniper berries
A few allspice berries
A couple cloves garlic peeled and crushed.
A sprig of rosemary.
A leafy sprig of thyme.
About a tablespoon of coarse sea salt. Next time I might reduce this as himself thought it was a tad too salty and truth be told he wasn't wrong.
Here's what you'll need to do:
Put duck in a flat dish.
Bash the juniper, allspice, garlic together in a pestle and mortar. Mix with the salt and scatter over the duck. Tear the herbs over the duck and rub all into the duck.
Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in fridge for about 12 hours or overnight.
Next day, rinse the duck under cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel.
Place a large heavy deep pan over a low heat and place the duck legs in, cover with sunflower oil. Bring to a soft boil and then simmer on the very lowest heat for 2 to 2 and half hours.
When the time is up take the pan off the heat and leave the duck to cool. The meat should pull apart easily.
Keep the remaining oil for roasties etc.
The duck legs can now be preserved but I used mine for dinner tonight so when I needed them I just fried them in a hot dry pan till the skin got crispy and the meat was heated through.
Jamie's mag recommended serving them with Lentils and red onion gravy.
The lentils were fab, unctuous even - though i did read somewhere lately that one should not use the term "unctuous" in food blogging, well whether or not they were flippin' unctuous so the unctuous stays!!!!
THE LENTIL RECIPE!
For 2 generous servings
125g puy lentils
2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
Small red onion, finely chopped
Small carrot finely chopped
1 celery stick finely chopped
A bouquet garni
About 1/2 litre hot chicken stock
100g baby spinach
Red wine vinegar
Soak the lentils in cold water for about 10 mins, then drain well.
Add a little oil to a large pan and fry the bacon till golden.
Add the veg and cook over a medium heat till softened, but not coloured.
Add the bouquet garni, lentils and stock.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 45 mins till lentils are soft. Add some extra stock if too dry.
remove the bouquet garni from the lentils and stir in the spinach. Cook for a few more mins, taste and season with some salt, pepper, a dash of olive oil and the red vinegar.