Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quack Quack- Duck or not Duck

'Duck breast I used for my next post, as the legs and other pieces were used for cassoulet...'

I am being questioned about my last post being 'duck', duck confit, and cassoulet. Many of your questions on here were addressed through personal email or on a comment, but I will take time to explain further...

The duck was purchased at Wegmans's, and was D'artagnan, by my husband, who knows what duck is, and the duck only looked big because I removed the rib cage, and placed it flat into pan; since I broke my foot Saturday, and was not able to stand up Sunday and cut it into pieces properly. I improvised, as a creative cook would, by adding the oil and fat onto, as opposed to individual pieces.

Email- "that looks like a chicken to me - I have never seen a duck with any kind of light meat, wegmans sells the D'artagnan brand of Muscovy duck and its meat is dark (like ducks are) - and you roasted it - thus it is not a true confit - and the dish you presented, even it its most basic forms, is a bean dish - meaning the beans and all cook together in a pot. Of course you will say you did it 'your way' ....but still - I hope I am wrong!"

Cassoulet recipes call for all ingredients to be pre-cooked and then assembled, and yes you see 'the skin' of the duck, and duck itself before I poured the duck fat and oil on top. I do not list every detail of my recipes for a reason, if any one has a question you may email me...I like to post for educational purposes, and most of us tend to do it our own way. I made duck confit in restaurants many times for charcutterie plates, and large catering events for other dishes. Duck confit is not that hard to make, just time consuming of slow roasting, and then taking the meat from the duck, and placing back into fat for storage.

Cassoulet Instructions

Prepare duck and sausage while beans simmer:
Remove all skin and fat from duck legs and cut skin and fat into 1/2-inch pieces. Separate duck meat from bones, leaving it in large pieces, and transfer meat to a bowl. Add bones to bean pot.

Cook duck skin and fat with remaining 1/4 cup cold water in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until water is evaporated and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until skin is crisp, 3 to 6 minutes more. Transfer cracklings with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, leaving fat in skillet. (You should have about 1/4 cup fat; if not, add olive oil.)

Brown sausage in batches in fat in skillet, then transfer to bowl with duck meat, reserving skillet.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make bread crumb topping:
My bread topping was crostini with Camembert cheese toasted...

Assemble casserole:
Remove bouquet garni and duck bones from beans and discard, then stir in sausage (I used lamb and pork meatballs I had made), duck meat, remaining teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Ladle cassoulet into casserole dish, distributing meat and beans evenly. (Meat and beans should be level with liquid; if they are submerged, ladle excess liquid back into pot and boil until reduced, then pour back into casserole dish.) I added gelee stock from cooked duck. Spread bread crumb topping evenly over cassoulet and bake, uncovered, in lower third of oven, until bubbling and crust is golden, about 1 hour.

My duck confit recipe will come in a post on Friday, Duck Confit- Oyster Mushroom Risotto...

Broken Left Foot Saga Here, if anyone is interested in seeing my foot cast...