The dense, hard-working muscle in duck legs can become tough when cooked at a high temperature. You can avoid this common problem by cooking duck legs sous vide. The low temperature and long cooking time used in this method ensure that the legs stay delectably tender. Adding fat to confit the legs increases the luxurious richness of the result.
- 2 duck legs
- 10g of salt
- 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 sprig thyme, finely chopped
- 100ml of duck fat or vegetable oil
- Combine the salt with the herbs and massage into the duck legs. Place the legs in the fridge for 6 hours to absorb the flavour of the salt rub.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 75⁰C.
- Remove the duck legs from the fridge and rinse in cold water, then dry carefully using kitchen paper.
- Seal the legs inside a vacuum bag with the fat.
- Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 8 hours.
- Remove the duck legs from the bag. They are now ready to serve.
Different flavours can be added to the salt rub. Juniper, garlic and star anise would all work well.
For a crispy skin, sear the cooked duck legs in a frying pan over a high heat.
Simon Hulstone uses his confit duck legs to make a divine Duck and hog’s pudding cassoulet but you do not have to serve the duck legs whole. You could shred the meat to make rustic duck rillettes or a more sophisticated dish, such as Adam Simmonds’ Slow-cooked duck egg with duck confit, asparagus and cobnuts. Ollie Moore deep-fries the shredded meat from his confit duck legs to make a refined Peking Style dish with slow-cooked duck egg, spring onion purée, cucumber and pancake crumb.
Recipe courtesy of http://www.greatbritishchefs.com/