Duck Legs and Duck Fat
After the cassoulet discussion a few days ago, it occured to me to check out an online French product site that I have had luck with in the past, called Joie de Vivre. They sell duck legs in 5-pound portions for $25 and 2-pound tubs of duck fat for $10. Already-made confit is about twice that price.
I haven't bought either of these items from them, but with other purchases have experienced good, friendly customer service. They don't have Tarbais beans listed but may be able to point out a good source.
I had a pack of these 6 duck leg confit which I picked up a few months ago at the a-few-tmes-a-year "Made in France" warehouse Sale in Brisbane near San Francisco. They were in my freezer and I determined it was time to use them up. I think I paid much less than the $39 they are listed as on the website. Probably closer to $30.
I took them up to Tahoe for new year and we simply pan fried 4 of them in very hot oil until the outsides were crispy. We served them with very naughty roasted postatoes (Naughty cos the were roast in a mix of butter, oil and rendered duck fat, with salt, pepper and fresh thyme sprigs.)
It's very easy to do duck this way, as everything has already been prepared for you, but will admit it is much more expensive than starting from scratch with your duck.
I wouldn't eat this kind of fatty food all the time, but when you've been burning carbs all day on the mountain it somehow seems justified.
We still have two duck legs left and I plan to make a hachis parmentier de canard with it later today.
(This is a meat/mash potato mix topped with cheese and broiled until bubbling.)
re: Sixy beast
I bought the same package of duck leg confit from MIF/Le Village at their Dec. sale. It was around $36 before tax. Not cheap, but didn't want to make my own yet. Used in cassoulet I wrote about below, and they were pretty darn tasty. I'm feeling inspired to make my own next time though after reading a recent discussion on egullet. Doesn't seem that hard, as long as I can find a good purveyor for fresh duck legs (would prefer to find someone local). Want to make my own so I can have them in the freezer throughout the year...
The dish you made sounds similar to one that I ate at Balthazar in NY (which is also in their book). Duck leg confit fried crispy over a bed of crispy potatoes and frisee. YUM! Also have heard that it's good shredded and then tucked into ravioli.
To the OP: thanks for the link to that website. Their duck fat sounds like a good deal considering the 8 oz. tub that I got from MIF was for $5.
Thanks for that site.....their duck fat seems very reasonably priced....D'Artagnan sells something like 8 ounces for about $7.95......shipping might be different, though. I am curious as to why there is such a price discrepancy..can there be different grades of duck fat????? Is duck fat also available in Chinatown..??
re: Michael Rodriguez
I must say that the duck legs I tried from Chinatown (Clement St - San Fran) aren't nearly as tasty as the smaller ones I purchase from Grimaud Farms. I read about the 3-4 types of ducks all the time and can't keep them straight (Pekin, Muscovy, Moullard, Malard, Rouen -- oops 5). Anyway, this is Chinatown, I don't know what type they use, but the duck just isn't as tasty. They seem cheap, which is why I tried them, but more tasty ones are rather cheap too.
I'm not prepared to rule on duck fat as mine gets combined and reused. But duck fat FAR overwhelmes chicken fat or veg oil. Haven't tried goose -- yet. Not sure I'd want to combine those fats.