Monday, July 27, 2015

Fagan Eats Paleo Recipe: Paleo Duck Confit

Paleo Duck Confit
A decadent meal great for a special occasions.

I've been on a big duck kick lately.  It seems to give me so much energy, so it's becoming my go-to protein of choice when I want to make something a little special.  Well--that and I just like experimenting with new types of food.  Ever since I vacationed in Paris in February, I've been dying to recreate some of the amazing duck dishes enjoyed there.  And so, I endeavored to re-create duck confit.  

For those of you who may not be familiar with the technique, I'll back up a bit about what confit is. Confit is a cooking technique traditionally used for duck or goose legs that originated in southwest France.  A confit is roasted at a low temperature and submerged in fat, often its own. The cooked product can be removed from the bone, covered in the cooking fat, and stored in the refrigerator for quite a long time, up to a month and even longer.  The leftover fat can be strained and stored in the fridge for cooking as well.  Pretty cool, right?!

So, when I was travelling in Paris, one of my highest priorities was enjoying French cuisine.  I mean, these people really know how to do food right, right?  I intended to experience the best (in my price range, of course) of what France had to offer.   And we ate A LOT.  But one thing I noticed was that duck was everywhere on menus in little corner bistros and restaurants alike.  What a big difference from here in the US where you rarely see duck.  

On our very first day in Paris, we had a couple hours until we could check into our room.  We had taken a red-eye, so we were exhausted.  And hungry.  Oh so hungry.  We walked down the street bleary eyed and ill-prepared to order in French if need be.  You see, I'd left my English-French dictionary in my luggage at the hotel, and neither of us, unfortunately speaks a lick of French.  

Finally, we settled on a restaurant a couple blocks down the road from our hotel called Le Baratin.   It didn't look like anything particularly special--but the food, oh the food was so amazing.  I ordered the duck confit and a cappuccino.  After a very long flight, major jet lag, and irregular meal eating, it was just what the doctor ordered.  The duck meat was like butter.  It fell off the bone and had a unique richness of flavor.  I had never experienced meat this way before and I knew then it certainly wasn't going to be my last.  We had many noteworthy meals during our stay in Paris, but this one was the most memorable for me. Maybe because I was introduced to duck confit for the first time.  Maybe because I was so very hungry and tired.  All I know is that the experience was so special, I needed to recreate the dish at home one day.

I've been trying to make special meals over the weekend for Davey and I and do my cook-ups over the week, rather than do one big Sunday night cook-up.  The Sunday cook-up thing took forever long and then I never had any time to do any of the fun cooking I love.  So, special Sunday night dinners it is.  This week, I decided to recreate the duck confit because--well--just because that's what I wanted to do.  

Folks, it's so super easy to make a duck confit, because most of the work happens in the oven on a low and slow temperate while you're doing other things.  But the flavor--oh the flavor--is like nothing you've ever had before.  I guarantee it. Look for more confit recipes from me in the future.

Anyway, the following recipe is super simple and delicious.  If you are looking to make a recipe for a special occasion, I absolutely recommend.  Hope you all enjoy!  --J
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Paleo Duck Confit
by Jamie Miller
PREP: 15 MINUTES
COOK: 3 TO 4 HOURS
Keywords: confit bake slow-cooker entree ancestral gluten-free low-carb nut-free paleo primal soy-free sugar-free duck Christmas American French
This is a recipe for Paleo Duck Confit.


Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 duck legs
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of sage or whatever other fresh herbs you have on hand
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cups of duck fat and/or other Paleo-friendly fat/oil
  • salt and pepper
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Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  • Heat pan over medium high heat and add oil when hot.
  • Pat the duck legs dry and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Place the legs skin side down and sear until the skin is browned (about 2 to 3 minutes). Then turn over and sear the bottom for about a minute.
  • Once the legs are seared, place them in a roasting pan that's deep enough to submerge the legs in fat.
  • Add the herbs and the garlic to the pan and then add the rest of the oil/fat until the the legs are completely submerged.
  • Cover the roasting pan completely with foil (tightly!) and place in oven for 3 to 4 hours until the duck is tender and falling off the bones.
  • Enjoy!