How to Confit and Can a Duck

Category: 
Main Courses

Courtesy of David Blackburn, Villa Hutton

Confit is best if left for at least 90 days, and up to 2 years, before opening.

Options for serving the confit include:
•    Traditionally, with fried potatoes and onions
•    Sliced and mixed into a fresh salad with white asparagus and red-wine vinaigrette 
•    Sliced and placed into savory crepes with a mild white cream sauce

Difficult

How to Confit and Can a Duck

Ingredients

For 1 Person(s)

Cream

  • 1 fresh whole duck (the fatter the better!)
  • 1/4 cups kosher, canning, pickling or sea salt
  • 2 quart-size jars

How to Confit and Can a Duck Directions

  1. Butterfly the duck: lay it breast-side down, remove the backbone and tail and discard, then remove and retain the neck. Remove the bones from the breasts and separate the inner breast from the outer breast. The inner breast, liver and gizzard should not be canned, but gently seared or frozen for future use.
  2. Cut the duck into 7 pieces (leaving the skin on): the neck, 2 breasts, 2 wings and 2 legs with attached thighs. If there are intestines, gently remove the fat from around them and reserve it—making sure not to break the gallbladder, which is green and very bitter. If you do not have the intestinal fat, ask your duck source or a butcher for additional duck or chicken fat. Salt both sides of each piece of duck generously. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.
  3. After 48 hours, remove the duck from the refrigerator, rinse well and pat dry. Cut the fat off of the duck and slice the meat into pieces.
  4. Add the fat to a Dutch oven and slowly melt it over low heat. Add the duck pieces and bring to a simmer—be careful because the fat will be very, very hot. At least three-quarters of the duck should be covered with the fat. If not, add more fat or lard.
  5. Simmer for about 90 minutes, until a fork can easily be inserted. Remove from the heat.
  6. Place a breast, leg and thigh and wing in each jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace (include the neck in one of the jars). Ladle the duck fat over the meat—maintaining the inch of headspace. Process with a pressure canner for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds for a weighted gauge or 11 pounds for a dial gauge. After processing, place the jars, 1 inch apart, on a towel to cool. Label and store the jars.

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