Guillaume shows us how to cook a dish created hundreds of years ago – duck confit with Brussels sprouts.
This technique is all about pan frying the duck legs in their own fat until they are crispy on the outside and succulent in the middle.
- ½ bunch chives, finely chopped
- 100 ml reduced chicken jus gras
- 40 g fine table salt
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 duck leg marylands
- 2 litres duck fat
- 400 g Brussels sprouts
- 1 litre chicken stock
- ¼ bunch thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 20 ml olive oil
- 3 bulbs spring onions, thinly sliced
- 100 g speck, sliced into lardons
- 200 ml pure cream
- 20 g seeded mustard
- 20 g crème fraiche
- ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 2 hours
Marinating time: 12 hours
- In a food processor, combine salt, thyme, garlic and bay leaf and blitz until roughly chopped and salt has turned green.
- On a non-reactive tray place a layer of the duck legs and sprinkle a light even coating of the salt mixture. Cover and allow the duck to cure for 12 hours in the refrigerator.
- Once cured, rinse the salt from the duck legs with cold water. Pat them dry and place in a baking dish.
Preheat oven to 130°C. Melt the duck fat in a pot over a medium heat and pour over duck legs in baking dish.
- Ensure all the legs are submerged in the fat, cover with a cartouche and place a lid on the pot or cover with aluminium foil. Transfer to oven and cook for 3 hours. Legs should be soft and coming away from the bone when ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the duck fat, this will prevent them from drying out.
When cool enough to handle, remove the legs gently, trim and refrigerate.
- For the sprouts, trim the outer leaves of sprouts and the bottoms and slice in half. Place sprouts in a pot and cover with chicken stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover with baking paper and cook until just soft. Set aside.
- Place a pan on heat, add oil and spring onion and sweat until translucent, add speck and cook for 2 minutes and then add cream. Reduce cream by half and then add mustard, add in sprouts and fold through crème fraiche and parsley.
- To serve, gently pan fry duck legs, skin-side only. Transfer to hot oven for 2-3 minutes skin-side down until meat is heated through.
- Serve on top of Brussel sprouts, with chicken jus gras and garnish with finely chopped chives.
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