Allyson Goftons Duck Confit with Raisin Jus
- Preparation Time: 20 mins
- Serves: 4
- Cooking Time: 90 mins
- Ready Time: 110 mins
- Cooking Method: Slow Cook
- Difficulty: Easy
6 tablespoons coarse or flaky salt
2 Bay leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon coarsely cracked peppercorns, any colour or a mix
1 Cinnamon stick, crushed
Few whole Cloves
Few sprigs Thyme
Pat the duck portions dry with paper towel and place in a dish or sealable plastic bag. Sprinkle over the salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and thyme and turn to coat the duck pieces well with the mixture. Refrigerate, for 2 days, turning occasionally.
Remove the duck from the brine and wash well to remove any traces of salt. Pat dry on a paper towel. Discard the salt.
Preheat the oven to 130 degrees Celsius.
Heat the duck fat in a flame-proof casserole and once melted add the duck portions, making sure they sit well beneath the duck fat. Bring to a simmer.
Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 1¾-2 hours or until the meat shrinks well away from the bone. Carefully remove the duck from the duck fat and set aside. Strain the duck fat into a jug to allow any meat juices to settle below the fat – keep the juice it is wonderful to flavour gravies, soups or casseroles.
Into the casserole or a dish that will hold the snugly hold the duck portions, pour a little duck fat sufficient only to cover the base. Sit the duck portions on top and then cover with the remaining fat – the duck portions must be well covered. Refrigerate until required.
To serve, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and place the oven rack just above the centre. Lift the ducks from the fat, there will be much flat clinging to the portions, so scrap this off and using a paper towel wipe away as much as you can.
Transfer the pieces to an oven tray.
Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the duck is hot and the skin is crispy and golden. Serve with Poor Man’s Sarladaise potatoes and raisin jus.
Poor Man’s Sarladaise potatoes
Stylish restaurants serve these potatoes ever so elegantly, often cooked in moulds to single-serve perfection. Cooked for the family in a farmhouse manner, their rustic look and honest taste are, to me, far more inviting and seconds will almost always be requested. For the authentic version, forget the bacon, parsley and garlic and add diced truffles to season.
To serve four, peel 1 kilogram waxy potatoes and cut into ½ cm thick slices. In a wide frying pan, heat a goodly amount of duck fat, about 100 grams, and when hot add the potatoes. They should brown in the duck fat and as they do, lower the temperature and keep turning them regularly.
If wished, when half cooked, add 2 or 3 diced rashers thick-cut bacon, one that has been smoked will have a better flavour, and continue to cook. Once tender, the potatoes will be a mix of whole slices and broken pieces, some well browned, others not, and season with parsley and, if game, stir through some minced fresh garlic before serving.
In a saucepan simmer together 1 cup each quality chicken stock, red wine – we used the gutsy local Madiran AOC red wine, and chicken gravy – make up the packet product if you don’t have it home made, and ½-cup dried but moist raisins and simmer until the mixture has reduced by a third or a half. Season with pepper.
© Recipes and Photographs copyright Allyson Gofton