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.
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.
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.
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?