What to serve with Duck Confit?
- hangrygirl Jan 28, 2010 12:49 PM
I'm making confit of duck leg this weekend, and last time I made it, it was delicious, but I served it with sauteed green beans (in butter) and mashed potatoes (made with cream) - and the whole thing ended up being a bit too heavy and rich. Any suggestions for lighter sides that would go well with the duck?
Sauce suggestions would be greatly appreciated as well!
Try the classic accompaniment, puy lentils.
Duck confit isn't typically sauced because it's so rich and salty on its own.
As PorkButt mentions, puy lentils are one classic side. I usually cook 1 pound of them with an onion halved and studded with 2 cloves, a clove of garlic, a bay leaf or two and a sprig of thyme and then dress them while warm with a red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing and lots of freshly ground black pepper. The vinegar lifts the lentils and cuts the duck fat.
Potatoes cooked in duck fat on the stovetop or in the oven are another traditional accompaniment. For example, peel and slice some waxy potatoes; melt some fat in a skillet, add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and stir to coat; cover and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes; uncover, turn the potatoes and re-cover; repeat until the potatoes are soft and beginning to brown (If you like, toward the end you can press the potatoes with a spatula to form a cake of sorts). Turn onto a plate and shower with an *hachis* of chopped flat-leaf parsley and minced garlic.
A third classic side is fresh sautéed or stewed mushrooms, preferably cepes (porcini). They're often served "Basque style" with garlic and tomatoes.
As mentioned earlier, potatoes cooked in duck fat go really well and is one of the classic accompaniments to duck confit. I like to use this recipe from epicurious:
Unlike other recipes I've seen where you're practically deep-frying the potatoes in the duck fat, this is more of a pan fry and uses less duck fat so it's not as rich. I used a bit more garlic than in the recipe, and I think it does help cut the fattiness. The last time I had duck confit, I had this, and in addition made some steamed haricots verts. Steaming the green beans instead of sauteeing makes it a lot lighter and still goes well with the duck. All it needed was some salt and pepper to finish it off.
Some other sides that I've had with duck are glazed baby carrots and celery root puree (which is a bit lighter than regular mashed potatoes). Recipes linked below:
Enjoy your duck confit!
The most classic accompaniment I can think of is shredded red cabbage, cooked in a bit of the duck fat with a shredded green apple, a touch of cider vinegar and red currant jam.
My favorite presentation when I order this is with finely-cut frites and a small, simple salad. The restaurateur who fed me this had an earlier establishment where he served it on pasta; this is much better. Another place serves it ON a bed of dressed salad greens, which is nice enough, but I want my salad cold and my confit hot. I think I would like the lentils very much. Another notion: I did a dish with roasted duck legs - confit would work better - served atop disks of crisply-fried polenta, with steamed then sautéed chopped collard greens like a hedge all around. My roasted legs had been glazed with orange marmalade thinned with vinegar; I boiled what was left down to syrup and drizzled it over. Something along those lines would be interesting.
re: Will Owen
Love the idea of the polenta cakes. I think a sturdy, fairly assertive green vegetable would be ideal here. I just did a very simple stir-fry of kale with absolutely nothing on it but salt. Took it just to tender-crisp (start the stems, cut about 2 inches long, first), and it was great. What a wonderful vegetable.