Confit (pronounced kon-fee) is derived from the French word confire, which means “to preserve.” In the traditional sense, confit refers to any preserved food, not just meat; however, today it is used to describe foods that are preserved by slow cooking them in liquid to prohibit the growth of bacteria. For example, fruits can be preserved in concentrated sugar syrup, while vegetables and meats can be preserved with certain fats. After you have slow cooked the food, pack it into a container and completely submerge it in liquid to create a barrier against further bacteria. This makes the food almost completely sterile, and it can be stored for a long time. According to experts, properly stored duck confit can last for several months when refrigerated, and confit fruit can last for years.
Duck and goose are the two most popular meats that are prepared with this technique. A tender, delicious addition to your charcuterie platter, duck confit is a traditional French dish that will leave you, your family and your guests wanting more. Check out these tips for preparation:
Salt your duck a day in advance.
You can add more than just meat and fat to your baking pan. Use more salt, garlic, shallots, thyme and pepper to increase flavor.
If you notice the duck fat starting to bubble or boil, reduce your heat.
Two to three hours may be required for this dish, so make sure you have plenty of time before you get started.
Store the duck in the fat. Do not dispose of the fat until you are ready to eat your cuts.
If you are using duck confit that you have been storing, you can sear it in a skillet to warm it up or shred the meat and add it to a salad!
Duck confit is rich, so popular sides like mashed potatoes or anything that includes a lot of butter can come off too heavy. Try lighter sides like traditional puy lentils, sautéed mushrooms, salad, toasted nuts, cassoulet, greens, shredded red cabbage or polenta.