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Tag Archives: Poultry

Duck Confit and Sherry Pot Pie


(serves 6)
This Duck and Sherry Pie is a great festive dish for the winter season. It is quick and convenient as the Duck Confit (Cuisse de Canard Confit) will provide all the flavor that you’ll need. And the meat in Duck Confit already comes tender, so you don’t need to stew any duck for hours either. Furthermore the recipe resolves the issue of confit being overly salty by cooking the pie filling with sherry and sweet potatoes.     
 

IngredientsDuck Confit Filling

  1. Duck Leg Confit (2)
  2. Carrot (1 large)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Sweet Potato (2)
  5. Mushrooms (100g)
  6. Peas (1/2 cup)
  7. Milk (1 cup)
  8. Sherry
  9. Mustard
  10. Flour
  11. Potato (2) – for the crust

Preparation 

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and carrot. Cut the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms into 1 inch pieces. Dice the carrot and onion into 1/2 inch cubes or pieces.
  2. Debone the duck confit. This should be an easy task as the meat is practically falling off the bone anyway. Break up the duck meat into large chunks with two forks. Gently heat the duck confit in a pot, just enough to liquefy the lard the confit comes in.
  3. Spoon 6T of the duck oil into a pan and decant the rest into a bowl or jar for storage.
  4. Place the pan on a low fire and fry the onion and carrot bits until the onion softens.
  5. Sprinkle on 2T of flour and continue to stir fry for a minute. Slowly stir in 2/3 cup of milk, followed by 1/2 cup of sherry. Next add sufficient hot water to result in thin sauce. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Next add the mushroom, peas and duck to the pan. Sprinkle on 1t sugar, 1t mustard and 1t of black pepper. After simmering for a further 5 minutes your filling will be ready.
  7. For the crust, boil 2 large potatoes for 15 minutes, peel and then mash them with 1/3 cup milk and 2T of duck oil.
  8. Pour your pie filling into either a large baking dish or spoon into individual ramekins or gratin dishes. Cover with a layer of the mash. Bake in the oven at 180oC until the crests of the mash get brown.

Duck Confit Pie

Notes

  • For a traditional pastry type pie, skip step 7 & 8 and follow the procedure as described in my Savoury Pies Page.
  • You’ll notice that we didn’t need to use any salt, stock cubes or herbs. This is because confit is pre-marinated with herbs, garlic and a hefty amount of salt and then cooked in its own rendered lard as you will see from my Duck Confit Page, If we had used butter and flour to make the sauce instead, you’d need to add all kinds of other ingredients to get the taste right.
  • As you are not baking the duck confit directly to get a crispy skin, there is no need to buy ‘fresh’ duck confit from the grocer. Those that come in a can are perfectly fine for this recipe.
  • Some of my friends prefer to eat my duck filling with bread instead of inside a pie, as pictured at the top of the page. This is even more convenient.
  • If you would like a creamier pie, add 2T of sour cream in step 6.
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Crispy Duck Leg Confit with Wine Mustard Compote


(serves 2 and is scalable to multiples of 2)
This is an excellet main dish for more formal occasions as it is considered somewhat rare to serve this at home, at least outside of France. You will simply adore the sinfully crunchy crackling. One nice touch is that I have used both wine and mustard to subdue the heavy greasy taste inherent in both ducks and in confit. This recipe includes sliced potatoes which are cooked in the tasty drippings of the duck. 

 

  Ingredients

  1. Duck Leg Confit (2)
  2. Red Wine (0.5 cup)
  3. Onion (0.5)
  4. Potatoes (2)
  5. Carrot (1 medium)
  6. Dijon Mustard
  7. Honey
  8. Tarragon
  9. Basil
  10. Coriander Seed Powder
  11. Cardamon
  12. Paprika

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 180oC (360oF). A high temperature is needed to melt away as much fat as we can.
  2. Start by cutting your potatoes into 1/4 inch discs, leaving the skin on. Arrange them on a baking tray, but under a seperate wire tray (look at picture). This way, the potatoes will be cooked shielded from direct heat.
  3. Trim away any excessive skin flaps of the duck legs and place them on the wire tray. Wrap the knuckles in foil.
  4. When the oven is pre-heated, put the tray in. You’ll be roasting  for 23-25 minutes depending on the size of your duck legs. As a guide, take the tray out 2 minutes after you see the skin browning nicely. If you are making more than 2 portions, you’ll need to bake for slightly longer.
  5. While the duck is roasting, dice your carrots and julienne your onion into small 1/4 inch bits. Then in a pan, stir-fry the bits under high heat with a knob of butter for about ten minutes. When the onion starts getting soft (but not limp) deglaze with 1/4 cup of red wine. As the wine dries up, add a second 1/4 cup of red wine and continue to heat unil the second lot of wine is reduced in volume by half. 
  6. When the duck is roasted, place the legs on inividual plates to cool slightly. Put the potatoes onto a seperate plate and dust them with paprika on one side before they dry.
  7. Put your pan of wine infused vegetable bits on low heat and spoon in 6T of the duck drippings. Stir in also, 4t dijon mustard, 1t honey, 4t chopped tarragon, 2t chopped basil,  2t coriander seed powder, 1t black pepper and 1/2t of cardamon.  When the compote has boiled for one minute after all its conponents were added, it is ready.  Depending on how rich or how wet you like the compote to be, you can use more or less of the drippings, there’ll be plenty to spare.
  8. On the seving plates, arrange your potatoes and meat and then spoon on the compote. Serve immediately. Refer to the picure below for ideas on plate arrangement.
Notes
  • Please take note. You can’t use plain duck thighs. For information on what confit is and where to get it, refer to my Cuisse de Canard Confit page.
  • You may have noticed that no salt is added in the entire recipe. This is because the duck confit and its drippings both contain sufficient salt.
  • Why does my compote contain no fruits? Same reason why there is such a thing as onion marmalade. OK, my bad.
  • While delicious, think twice before serving this to anyone who has a problem with high choelestrol.

 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2010 in French, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipe

 

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What is Cuisse de Canard Confit?


There are many ways of preserving meat like smoking, air curing, salt drying but confit must be the most esoteric method I have come across. Confit is somewhat similar to the more common rilette except you don’t shred the meat. 

Well basically confit is meat that is marinated with salt and garlic for a few days and then poached under low heat in lard. It is then kept refrigerated and can last for several months. Confit is sold in cans but I’d recommend the ‘fresh’ type which is sold refridgerated in a vacuum pack as shown in the picure.  Outside of France ‘fresh’ confit is not all that common,  but you can normally find it at a French speciality store.

The most common meat used nowadays for confit is duck (the others being goose and pork) and the most common part of the duck used is the leg, including the thigh. If not referring to any particular part of the duck, its referred to as Canard de Confit and it its the leg, then its Cuisse de Canard Confit. Quaint language this French is.

So what’s so special about confit? Well because the salt and poaching in oil dessicates the duck, this gives us the perfect conditions for a crispy, and I might even say crunchy, skin. You’ll need a grill or a blow torch to effect this and coincidentally, because of the high fat content, you would want high temperatures to thin down the fat anyway.

A recipe using Cuisse de Canard Confit is my Crispy Duck Leg Confit with Wine Mustard Compote.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2010 in French, Ingredients, Poultry

 

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Christmas Stuffed Chicken Breast


( serves 8 )
This is not specifically a Christmas dish, but I did invent it with the intent of avoiding the chaos that comes with roasting and carving a big bird. It comes with gravy, stuffing, everything that you’d expect on a festive occasion. Turkey is dry, turkey is tough, turkey is passé. If like me, you don’t like turkey, then this recipe is custom made for you.

reminder: This recipe goes hand in hand with the Deluxe Stuffing recipe, so please be prepared to make the stuffing as well.

Ingredients

  1. Chicken Breasts (4)
  2. Onion (1)
  3. Carrot (1)
  4. Bacon Slices (16)
  5. Milk (1/4 cup)
  6. Flour (1T)
  7. Coriander seed powder
  8. Garlic seasoning
  9. Tarragon
  10. Sherry
  11. Worcestershire sauce

Preparation

  1. Cut each chicken breast into the left and right halves. Then halve each half again, but his time cut them the way you would halve a burger bun.
  2. Make a marinade out of 4T olice oil, 1t pepper, 1t garlic seasoning, 1T tarragon. You don’t want to lose track of which piece of chicken goes with which, so keep the meat arranged on a cutting board and apply the marinade with a spoon.
  3. Preheat the oven at this stage to 180oC (350oF).
  4. Spoon a half inch thick layer of stuffing onto the inside suface of one of the chicken breast pieces and cap it off with the corresponding piece of breast, forming a sandwich. Wind 2 slices of bacon around the sandwich to bind it in place. Repeat until you end up with 8 sandwiches. This bacon provides the main flavour of the chicken, which is why there was nothing salty in the marinade.
  5. Bake for about forty minutes in a baking tay. The baking time will vary depending on how many breasts you are cooking and their size, so a rule of thumb is the chicken is done when you notice it has shrunk. The bacon shrinks with it, making it the perfect binding.
  6. With the chicken in the oven, cut the onion and carrot (use 2 if your carrot is small) into small quarter inch bits. This will form the base of your gravy. In a pan, fry them in 2T of butter until the onion is limp. Leave aside in the pan.
  7. When the chicken is done, place each breast on its serving plate to cool. Restart the fire on the pan and pour the hot drippings from the baking tray into the veggie pan. Sprinkle 1T of flour and stir fry for one minute to cook the flour. Then slowly stir in the milk to thicken your gravy.
  8. For flavour mix in 2T of sherry, a dash of worcestershire sauce, 0.5t sugar, 0.5t coriander seed powder and a pinch of pepper. Again, the drippings are salty and there is no need to add salt. Ladel the gravy on to each plate and serve.

Notes

  • For the juiciest and tenderest meat, I usually buy the premium ‘Dutch’ Chicken breasts imported from Holland.
  • If you are using ‘nornmal’ chicken breasts, refer to the brining procedure described in this post for best results.
 
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Posted by on October 4, 2009 in Main Courses, Poultry, Recipe

 

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