Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

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Duck Confit Recipe

Duck Confit Photo : Jackie Cameron

Duck Confit
Photo : Jackie Cameron

Duck Confit

Duck thighs can be confit (cooked in their own fat), on simmer, for three hours. Keep in an airtight container with an inch of duck fat to cover all the meat. This process, used in days gone by, preserves the flesh and the result is a deep, dark meat when oven heated to serve. It is succulently juicy with a crispy skin.

Duck Fat

Method:

1) When deboning and portioning a duck-remove all excess duck fat from the thighs and breasts together with any extra fat on the carcass

2) Place all of this into a saucepan and cover with cold water

3) Bring to the boil and allow simmering, you may need to top up with water, simmer until the duck fat pieces are very crispy and have released all the liquid fat. Refrigerate for later use

4) If you find you do not have enough duck fat to confit your thighs add equal quantities of salted butter to sunflower oil (cheats duck fat!)

Duck Confit

Ingredients:

Deboned Duck Thighs

Fine Salt

Duck Fat

Maldon Salt

Method:

1) Lightly salt the duck thighs and leave overnight in a covered oven tray

2) Rinse the salt off in the morning and pat dry

3) Place the thighs into a heavy based pot and cover with duck fat

4) Bring to the boil and allow simmering for three hours. Never allow the duck fat to boil, if this is the case, switch the pot off and allow slight cooling and then place back on the heat

5) When cooked and beautifully tender, cover the pot with tin foil and leave off the heat, out of the fridge overnight

6) On service heat an oven to 260°C. Trim and neaten up the duck thighs, place onto a tray, top with a sprinkle of Maldon salt or normal salt and add water to the base of the pan.  Place into the oven and heat up until the duck thigh is crispy.  Can take about 20 minutes

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Crispy Duck Confit Recipe

Crispy Duck Confit with Hummus  Photo : Jackie Cameron

Crispy Duck Confit with Hummus
Photo : Jackie Cameron

Crispy Duck Confit with Roasted Butternut Puree, Hummus, Sultanas, Popcorn, Fresh Oregano and local Honeymeed

I'd like to share a few of the recipes on the Hartford House Christmas tasting menu - a sneak preview of the 12 or so courses, you may say.

Duck is a favourite of mine so I've planned a crispy duck confit with hummus, sultanas and local honey mead, the drink of the gods. Duck thighs cooked in their own juice for three hours are delicious. I prefer doing this on the stove rather than in the oven. It gives me full control and I like to witness the changes as they take place. Serving this with hummus (a crushed chickpea puree) takes the richness from the dish and adds a pleasing creaminess. The sultanas and the honey mead add a sweetness that balances the duck flavour.

Crispy Duck Confit

Ingredients :

Duck fat to cover

Duck Thighs

Maldon Salt

Method :

1) The making of duck fat-when deboning a duck reserve all the fatty off cuts. Place this into a pot and cover with water. Cook this fat until extremely crispy so all the duck fat has been extracted and all the water reduced off so leaving only the duck fat. If this is not enough - cheat duck fat - use half butter half-sunflower oil and you will get a similar result. You could also buy duck fat from Candice at Fragrantly Aromatic Foods-082 812 4648.

2) Lightly salt the duck thighs for a few hours or over night. Rinse, pat dry and then poach the thighs in the duck fat for 3 hours. Never allow boiling only light simmering. Switch the pot off for a few minutes if needed during the process

3) On service place the duck thighs into a pan, place a little water at the base, top with a light sprinkle of Maldon salt and into a hot, 240˚C, oven until crispy

Creamy Hummus

Yields : a small bowl size

Ingredients :

1 tin Chickpeas (strain liquid off and discard it)

5 ml Durban Masala

30 ml Lemon Juice

Salt and Pepper

5 g Garlic

165 ml Olive Oil

20 ml Tahini Paste (made from ground sesame seeds if not available add a few drops of sesame seed oil for flavour)

30 ml Long life Cream

Method :

1) Place all the ingredients into a liquidiser and liquidise (on a high speed) until the desired consistency is reached

Serve the crispy duck thigh with home-style butternut puree, hummus, popcorn (for a texture), fresh oregano and a drizzle of honey mead (Produced and bottled in KZN-Born in Africa-033 2344796) that has been reduced by half

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713