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Sources for confit de canard in Boston? Fresh, to make at home?

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pamlet Jul 17, 2011 04:46 AM

Just got back from France and my son (7) developed a real love of confit de canard. Literally said it was the best thing he'd ever tasted -- this, from an extremely picky child. We've brought back several tins of it, but you can only carry so much, and we'd like to be able to give it to him as a treat every once in a while. Are there any local sources for this? You can order over the internet, but it was awfully expensive from D'Artagnan's. I saw that Savenor's sells something, but it wasn't clear whether this was a tarted up version (we just want the traditional version). Does the Butcher Shop do it? The online info isn't clear. Any other thoughts? Thanks! (And yes, I know we COULD make our own, but I'm afraid my motherly devotion doesn't run quite that far...) Any other confit lovers out there? (And just for the curious, this is mind-boggling easy to make at home... just bung the duck in a frying pan, cover with splatter guard, and cook. It's that easy. The quality is all based on the preservation process and remembering not to overcook it. And then you've got lots of lovely duck fat to use for other stuff...)

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  1. BostonZest RE: pamlet Jul 17, 2011 06:03 AM

    The D'Artagnan product is excellent and available in many places around the area.

    Formaggio Kitchen makes their own.
    John Dewar & Company carry a Hudson Valley Confit.

    Penny
    http://www.bostonzest.com/

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    Formaggio Kitchen
    244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

    John Dewar & Company
    753 Beacon St, Newton, MA

    1. rubysdad RE: pamlet Jul 17, 2011 07:02 AM

      Smart kid. So, if your motherly devotion doesn't run quite that far, seize the opportunity. Set that lad up with three or four ducks and let him have at them. You may want to (both) watch some youtube videos about how to deconstruct a duck, and some others about making confit.
      But if he loves this dish well enough, then learning to make it would be a simple and superb point of entry for a seven year old into the world of kitchens and cooking. As an added bonus, you can steal the breasts and serve them to some grown up friends for dinner. One word of caution: read the fine print on any duck you buy. Most frozen and some fresh ones "contain up to fifteen per cent of a solution", which means essentially that they are to some degree a processed food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rubysdad
        twyst RE: rubysdad Jul 17, 2011 07:09 AM

        Agree with this, this would be a great thing for the two of you to learn to cook together. Its very simple to make, yet is indeed extremely delicious.

        1. re: rubysdad
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          smtucker RE: rubysdad Jul 17, 2011 07:54 AM

          Couldn't agree more. Teach a child how to confit, and they will never starve! I buy whole ducks [which is like getting the legs for free]. Roast one whole to collect the fat. Break down the others, and confit the legs. The breasts, well I eat them!

          In real life, I have a jar of duck fat in the fridge that I collect from duck no 1, and then later, I buy duck 2 and 3 for confit. So easy to make, and far more affordable if you do this at home.

        2. g
          Guido RE: pamlet Jul 17, 2011 04:27 PM

          Yes! Do it at home and bond with the young one. Get a good recipe from a charcuterie book, though. Pink salt is available from Christina's spices in Cambridge (and you can get an ice cream, too, next door. Try McKinnons for the duck legs, or H-Mart. Good cooking!

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          H-Mart
          3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

          10 Replies
          1. re: Guido
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            smtucker RE: Guido Jul 17, 2011 05:26 PM

            You don't need pink salt! Not for confit. This recipe is my all time favorite:

            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            1. re: smtucker
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              pamlet RE: smtucker Jul 18, 2011 03:36 AM

              Hmmm.... well, maybe you've convinced me... Thanks, everyone!

              1. re: pamlet
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                Scruffy The Cat RE: pamlet Jul 18, 2011 05:45 AM

                This thread has reminded me how much I like eating confit and how easy it is to make. I have made it before but in the depths of winter but it would make a great salad.

                So, to add some local er, flavor, to the discussion- where is your favorite place for buying duck? I have bought from WF before and sometimes Dewar's, but does anyone have a good source for a good bird?

                1. re: Scruffy The Cat
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                  smtucker RE: Scruffy The Cat Jul 18, 2011 05:50 AM

                  For whole ducks, I like Mayflower [frozen] or Wilson Farms [not frozen, but I bet they were once.] To buy non Pekin duck, Savenors has the best variety. If you find Moulard duck anywhere less expensive than Savenors, please post back!

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                  Wilson Farm
                  10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                  1. re: smtucker
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                    Scruffy The Cat RE: smtucker Jul 18, 2011 09:51 AM

                    very helpful, thanks!

                    1. re: smtucker
                      BobB RE: smtucker Jul 19, 2011 06:36 AM

                      I usually get mine from Savenor's (a good source for fresh rendered duck and goose fat as well), but have also had good results confiting duck legs from the Super 88 in Packard's Corner.

                      And for those too-hot-to-cook days, the Meat House in Coolidge Corner carries pre-cooked confit duck legs in vacuum-sealed plastic packs. Not cheap. but quick and delicious.

                      1. re: BobB
                        BobB RE: BobB Jul 20, 2011 07:22 AM

                        Just to clarify - the duck legs at the Super 88 are *much* less expensive than at Savenor's, but they are frozen where Savenor's are fresh.

                2. re: smtucker
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                  Guido RE: smtucker Jul 19, 2011 06:38 PM

                  That's a pretty non-traditional confit, but if you like it that's what matters. And you don't need pink salt unless you want to keep it for a long time. But if you do plan to make it last, you should make use of the preservative qualities of modern living thru chemistry and not risk botulism toxin.

                  1. re: Guido
                    BobB RE: Guido Jul 20, 2011 07:26 AM

                    What's so non-traditional about it? It's quite similar to the recipe I use, though mine calls for thyme sprigs but no shallots or garlic. But exactly what seasonings to add (beyond the requisite salt) has always been a matter of taste and regional variation.

                    What I've never heard of is adding pink salt. I can see where it could add some benefit for long-term preservation, but confit de canard never lasts long enough around here for that to be an issue.

                    1. re: BobB
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                      Guido RE: BobB Jul 21, 2011 06:56 PM

                      My go-to recipe is from Charcuterie, Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn - just a little thyme for flavor - but it's really just about the duck. Personal preference re. added flavorings - I'm sure they are good depending on what you how you serve the confit.

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