One protein I’ve always been eager to prepare is duck! Duck breast is one of the most sought after and more difficult to prepare. The MasterChef challenge featuring duck occurred after my elimination which prevented me from challenging myself to tackle this protein. Yesterday I decided to head to the local asian supermarket and pick up some ingredients to challenge myself. Walking the isles, I stumbled upon ….duck legs!! This cut is cheaper, less tender and still has a generous amount of fat. I purchased this and decided to get to work. I decided to do a rendition of duck confit. Typically, confit is the technique of slow cooking the protein in its own fat. When you confit, you cure the duck with salt and sugar prior to cooking in the fat. In this case, I cured the duck for one hour and used a combination of beef fat and clarified butter with garlic cloves. This allowed the duck to take on the nutty, caramel flavor of brown butter with infusions of garlic. I served it with a cherry reduction and sweet potato fondant.
- 2 duck legs
- 4 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 2 Sticks Clarified butter
- 4 cloves garlic
- Onion Powder (to taste)
- 2 sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1=2 cup chicken stock
- Garlic powder(to taste)
- Pepper(to taste)
- For the Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halfed
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 branch rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut both sides to make it a flat surface. Using a cylindrical cutter, cut out rounds
- Toss in oil and season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat, sear off both sides of potatoes until brown
- Add stock and thyme and lower heat, slow simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- score duck skin and mix sugar and salt. Cover both sides salt sugar mixture. let sit for up to 1 hour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Season duck legs with black pepper and onion powder
- pour all clarified butter in oven proof dish skin side up, fat should come half way up the duck leg.
- Add garlic cloves and place in oven for 2 1/2 hours , turning when skin starts becoming crispy.
- Once tender, remove from fat and place under broiler to crisp skin!
- Combine cherries, sugar and herbs. when the juice begins to seep out add the vinegar and wine and simmer until thickened, strain and serve.