Duck Confit Crostini with Blue Cheese, Sweetened Orange Slices and a drizzle of Orange Reduction
You can make a lot of bang for your duck (get it?) if you buy and butcher the thing yourself versus just purchasing the breasts , thighs and or duck fat separately. Ducks can be expensive, but there is literally so many things you can do with them that it’s worth every penny. Of course you can roast the entire thing, but you can also take it apart and make several dishes instead. I made seared Duck Breasts with Cauliflower Puree for a main course, and then I was able to make these Duck Confit Cristinis as an appetizer.
I already mentioned this is my Duck Breast post, but in case you didn’t see it, I’ll mention it again. If you have ever butchered your own chicken, then a duck should be pretty simple to master. The only difference is the way you remove the breasts. I thought this video was a nice refresher. I also liked this one because the man in the video sounds exactly like my instructors did in school. (In the first video he does not remove the wish bone and in the second he does. I learned it the second way, but some say leaving the bone in acts as a guide for removing the breasts, so it’s really up to you). If you have never melted your own fat for confit, I found this video very helpful as well.
This is an early stage of the confit process. These duck legs should be completely submerged. The recipe only calls for 2 leg segments, but I butchered 2 ducks so I just did both.
This depicts the first stage of peeling the orange. Once the flesh has been removed, cut out each segment with a pairing knife along each seam. For the best results, cut along one seam and then peel it out with the knife rather than cutting along both sides. That way you lose less of each segment (called a supreme).
After the orange supremes have been removed, the residual juices are reduced to create a sweet glaze.
- Cure and Duck Confit
- 2 Duck Leg Segments
- 2 Cups of Duck Fat
- Oranges and Orange Reduction
- 4 Oranges, cut into supremes (segments)
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ⅓ cup orange juice (bottled or freshly squeeze)
- The Crostini
- French Bread, thinly sliced
- thyme, roughly chopped
- blue cheese, crumbled
- Cover the skin of the legs with a generous amount of salt (Add crushed garlic and thyme if desired). Place in a small bowl or square pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
- Remove the legs from the bowl, rinse off the excess salt and dry off as much as possible.
- In a medium sauce pot, place the duck legs so they lie flat on the bottom of the pot and do not overlap. Cover with the duck fat so they are completely submerged by at least 2 inches. Add thyme and crushed garlic, if desired.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce to a very low simmer.
- Cook for about 2 hours, or until a knife is inserted into the leg and comes out easily (the leg should remain in place).
- Remove from the fat and let the leg cool completely before breaking apart. Be sure to peal off all of the skin and cartilage, because that is chewy and unpleasant to eat.
- In small sauce pot, combine the orange juice, orange slices and sugar. Over medium low heat, allow the sugar to dissolve and begin reducing the juice. After about 2 minutes, remove the slices. If left for too long, they will break apart and turn to mush (you can choose not to cook the slices at all, but I thought this enhanced the flavor and made the crostinis slightly easier to bite into). Reduce the juice at a simmer until it resembles a thin syrup.
- Place the slices of bread in a cold oven and preheat to 350 F. By the time the oven had reached the proper temperature, the slices only needed a couple of minutes more before they are ready.
- Spread a small amount of butter on the top of the crostini, place about a spoonful of confit, orange slices and lightly sprinkle with blue cheese (this flavor can be overpowering, so you only need a little), drizzle with the orange glaze and garnish with chopped thyme.