Step aside, Emeril.
Pork fat does not rule. Duck fat rules.
It also oozes and drips and runs; gets all over just about everything and causes copious amounts of drooling from the girls dogs.
But it’s what’s under all the luscious duck fat that gets my little heart pumping.
Isn’t it strange? Of all the canned foods that I avoid like the plague, the one I always have in my kitchen is canned duck?
Confit de canard.
A staple in any proper French kitchen…. At least, on this side of France….
Traditionally, this is one of the main ingredients in cassoulet. In fact, in addition to selling the confit, Reflets de France also sells the complete Cassoulet, albeit in a much, much larger can. (This one is about 8″ (10cm) across)
I have never made a proper, traditional cassoulet. Done correctly, it takes about 3 days of cooking and feeds a small army. When I decide to make it I want to do a proper job, but I’m not going to miss out on the duck in the meantime.
So I invented the bastard child of Cassoulet and Risotto; the result of a clandestine meeting of the cuisines of France and Italy.
It’s shows only a passing resemblance to the first and has way to much ‘stuff’ in it to be a proper second.
I have, on other occasions, just added more rice to feed more people and it was still wonderful.
But we are only two, and sacrifices must be made. Shucky-Darn!
Risotto with Confit de Canard and Cannellini.
1 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup dry, white wine
3 1/4 cups chicken stock
15oz (450gr) white beans
2 cuisse de canard (duck thighs and legs)
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat. Remove duck meat from bones and tear into chunks. Open, drain and rinse beans. Chop onion and carrot. Grate the cheese.
In a medium sauce pan heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot, sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add rice and sauté, stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir. When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/2 cup of stock and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.) When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/2 cup and continue adding 1/2 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 1/2 cup taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. Stir in duck and beans and add more stock if needed, 1/4 cup at a time. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold it’s shape on a plate. Add the Parmesan, stir well, pour into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately. It will continue to absorb liquid and by the time it’s on your plate it will be perfect: still creamy and not dry.
Fried potatoes, anyone?
20 thoughts on “Confit de Canard = Cassoulet Risotto; Duck Fat Rules!”
This is quite a post for me to be reading at this hour–that looks like it must taste absolutely amazing! 😮
oh my gosh, that sounds good. only in france could such a thing as canned duck be readily available. i’m sure it puts canned tuna to shame!
Wow, wonder if I can get canned duck here in the states??? Speaking of duck, we just cranked up our smoker about an hour ago and we are smoking a whole duck! Come on over!
Your dish looks awesome! Wouldn’t it be great if a bunch of us could get together for a few days and make cassoulet!!!
Oh my! The confit actually looks like butterscotch pudding.
Mike, duck fat and coffee? You may be right… I can think of bettr combinations!
Katy, It does seem weird – but it’s so good!
Deb, oooohhh smoked duck…. Wanna swap some?
Colleen, and has about the same consistancy… Taste, not so much…
Duck fat fried potatoes. Aargh! It’s not too far from here where you live right? I can be there tomorrow night.
And yes, save some of that delicious risotto.
What a delicious looking dish- I will have to search the internet for confit de canard of my own. What a gourmet convenience food!
How decadent! I’ll admit to being a little weirded out by confit in a can, but I definitely have recipe clippings on how to make duck confit at home! (I think Mark Bittman wrote a Minimalist post about it around Thanksgiving 2006). Not sure why I should be more intimidated by the can than by the whole massive process of DIY, but there you go. Maybe I just have a phobia of cans, and that’s my own issue. 🙂
baking soda, sorry, the risotto is gone…but I’ll be happy to make you some fried taters….
Deborah, try Reflets de France. I don’t know if they export but they are the big name here.
Neen, I can buy it in a jar, too…if that would make you feel better!
I guess looks can be deceiving because it looks, well… not so good. However, I have tried enough of your recipies to believe you if you say it is good.
Is this wrong to say? Can I drink that? Ok, maybe not, but duck fat has to be one of those amazing things about food.
The duck is already gone. I must be getting really slow.
Shucky Darn clandestine meeting of the cuisines of France and Italy – what an idea! I do like this one Katie but then really like cassoulet and risotto I would never have thought to put the two together.
Bravo on a sublime looking food marriage!
I agree: DUCK FAT RULES!
Oh wow, I am drooling all over my keyboard. Yum…
Shayne, a can of duck fat is not the most appetizing thing, is it? But it IS good, really….
Lannae yes… I’m always suprised at how soft it is… compared to beef or pork fat.
Tanna, I’m always trying to get my favorite foods onto the same spoon!
Loulou, watch out Emeril!
Heidi, get some quick, before you leave…
You are so lucky with that excellent canned food available in France.
Your cassoulet looks excellent.
John Burton Race a British chef packed up his large family and went to live in France
and of course made a TV programme about it.
He was invited to cook for the Cassoulet society no mean feat. That dish is really taken seriously in France. So good on you for your version.
Gilli, I would love to eat that Cassoulet! I have it whenever I am in the southwest… But would be way too intimidated to try to cook it for the French!
Canned confit de canard!!! Gimme!
I remember being amazed at what was available at a supermarket in France – several different brands of cassoulet, several different brands of fois gras, several cheeses, decent wine, etc. etc.
Oh, by the way, yes please to the potatoes….
“Bastard child” – my eye! Call it fusion food and you can get away with anything 😉 Cassoulet is one of the things I have always vowed I will make… one day, when I have time. I have had the Reflets de France tinned cassoulet (hauled back across the channel after one of our trips) and it is quite good, although the meat loses its texture as tinned meats do. But still pretty damn good considering it came out of a tin!!
Jeanne, Fusion Food! Sounds so much nicer than ‘bastard child’…. But I was in that kind of mood~
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