Who doesn’t love confit duck? I buy a whole bird from Thirlmere (free range) Poultry at the Capital Region Farmers Market relatively regularly. I have come to see that the absolute best thing you can do with the duck legs is to confit them. And so, it is. I would probably have duck confit about once a month. It is always something special. My favourite till now, was when I served it with cherry sauce. Oh my, that was something special.
I was excited to see black garlic for sale recently, in the supermarket of all places (Belconnen Woolies for those who care to know – it’s definitely not a place I frequent), and I gladly bought some. I’ve been wondering what to do with it. I’d been thinking about making a simple pasta sauce for fresh pasta. But then it dawned on me! Its lovely balsamic like flavour would pair beautifully with duck! Fermenting vegetables generally increases the accessibility of their nutrients. Black garlic, which is simply fermented garlic has up to twice the amount of antioxidants of regular garlic and increased antibacterial qualities.
I saved the jelly from the bottom of the confit pan, thinking it would make a delicious sauce. I have recently discovered a blog called Nutrition by Nature, which offers some of the most sensible, and purely natural, nutritional advice I have ever seen. I’m in love with it. Anyway, Kate (said blogger, qualified Nutritionist) says gelatine is good for you. Apparently it aids in digestion, supports optimum metabolism, promotes relaxation and deep sleep, directly opposes stress hormones, reduces systemic inflammation, supports optimal digestion and a healthy gastrointestinal tract, it’s good for joints, and good for your skin! How’s about all that good news! So I’m feeling particularly good about my combination of black garlic and duck jelly for this delicious sauce for my duck confit.
I think it’s wonderful, that I could buy a fresh duck at the market on Saturday, cut it up on Sunday and cure it, then cook it slowly in the oven on Monday night. That way, the duck will easily keep in the fridge till the end of the week, when I’m far too tired to put much effort into cooking. Magically, we can have an incredible meal by simply placing it in the oven to crisp. It never ceases to amaze me.
Black garlic sauce
|1/2||cup||duck jelly (reserved from confit)|
*substitute corn flour if you like.
To make cure the duck legs, combine the salt with garlic and herbs, and coat the duck legs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
To confit the duck legs, rinse the curing mixture from the duck legs, being sure to remove all the curing mixture. Arrange the duck legs snuggly in a deep baking dish. Fill the dish with enough melted duck fat to completely cover the duck. Place in a 100oC oven and forget about it for three or four hours. Remove the duck from the oven and leave on the bench to cool.
When it’s cool enough to touch, remove the legs from the dish, allowing the fat to drip back into the dish. Place the legs in a Tupperware container, or on a plate and cover. Refrigerate till you want to eat them.
Allow the cooking liquid to come completely to room temperature (I leave it on the bench overnight, as long as it’s not a hot night). You should then be able to pour the duck fat into a container and return it to the fridge for next time. There will also be a jelly at the bottom of the dish, that will have separated from the duck fat. Reserve this jelly, you can put the dish in the fridge as is, or melt it into a more suitable container.
When you want to eat the duck, preheat the oven to 180oC. Place the duck, topside down, on a lined baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes and then turn it over to golden and crisp on the other side for another 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, squish the black garlic and place in a small saucepan with the duck jelly, simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes. Push this mixture through a sieve and then return it to the pan. Dissolve the flour in the water and whisk into the black garlic mixture. Bring the mixture back to a simmer to thicken then turn off the heat.
Spread a little of the sauce onto the serving plates and arrange a crisp duck leg on top. Serve with your choice of vegetables (I served it with a delicious creamy potato and kale bake).