The first step of duck confit is optional. Last time I skipped this step and it worked fine, this time, because I was sharing this with Gene and wasn’t sure when he would use his, I did it. If you bury the parts you are confiting (these are legs and wings) in salt and store in the fridge over night, the whole thing will last longer.
Once you have rinsed the salt off and patted the parts good and dry, place them in a pan and cover completely with lard. A lot of lard. More lard than you want to think about (you’ll be able to reuse almost all of it…I think I’ll be making tamales with most of mine). Then set it on the stove over pretty low heat, while setting your oven to preheat to basically its lowest temp. Mine is 170…you could go anywhere from there up to 210. Once all the lard has melted and you are sure that all your duck parts are completely submerged, take it off the stove and put it in the oven. Forget about it for NINE long hours. This is great for a cold autumn day, as it keeps your house cozy, warm and smelling like duck.
When you pull them out, they’ll look something like this. Let them cool for a little while. Once they are at a touchable temperature (it doesn’t take very long), you have two choices. Like we did last time, you can leave them on the bone and pour in enough fat to cover them. This requires more fat because the bone takes up a lot of space. It does, however, make for a pretty presentation for the legs. Less so for the wings. Because we had so much meat, I decided to pull it off the bones this time. It basically falls off, it can be easily done with a fork. I put mine into a ramekin and really packed it in so I could use less lard to seal it.
So here it is, all packed in. Next I just pour over enough of the cooking lard so that it is completely sealed, then I let it mature in the fridge for a few weeks.
Next time I am short on food for dinner, I bust this out and make something totally mind blowing.