Making Duck Confit

STEP ONE To render your own duck fat, remove the skin and any fat from a pekin or moulard duck and process as directed below. (If you have another source for duck fat, you can leave the skin on and proceed.) Next, cut the bird into 2 legs with thighs attached, 2 wings with tips removed, and 2 breasts (which can be reserved for another use).

STEP TWO Place the duck pieces in a nonreactive pan and sprinkle 4 tbsp. sea salt crystals on all sides of the bird. (We prefer these slow-dissolving crystals, which cure the meat without making it too salty.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, brush away as much salt as possible with a paper towel (some will have dissolved).

STEP THREE Melt 5-6 cups duck fat in a saucepan over low heat. When fat reaches 200°, barely simmering, add duck and simmer, completely submerged, until tender, about 2 hours. Remove from heat, cool, and refrigerate duck, completely immersed in duck fat, in a clean container. The flavor will improve for a week; confit will keep for at least a month.

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