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Place the duck legs in a single layer in a dish.
Scatter salt over the top, season with pepper,
bay leaves and thyme. (Note: You can add 10
juniper berries if you're feeling like a master
chef!) Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 150°C. Wash and pat dry
duck pieces and place in a deep metal
roasting tray. Pour oil into tray until duck is
just covered. Place tray on stove top and
bring oil to the boil. Place in the oven and
cook for at least 2 hours.
The duck can now be cooked for immediate
use or stored for up to 6 months in the fat.
To cook now: Increase oven heat to 180°C.
Remove duck from the fat and sear in a very
hot, heavy-based skillet or frying pan, skin
side down, for a few minutes until crispy.
Return to oven for 15 minutes. Duck is now
ready to serve.
To store: Wash a large snap-lock jar (or
container with lid) and dry out in oven for a
Put the hot duck Marylands into jar, adding
a few more bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
Pour over oil to cover duck and allow to cool
on bench. Once duck's cooled and fat is
solidified, pop some greaseproof paper onto
the top of the fat and seal. Store in cool
pantry or fridge for up to 6 months.
To cook stored meat: Retrieve as needed
and cook as above.
To make the cassoulet: Dice onion, speck,
leek, carrot and celery into 1cm squares.
Drain and wash beans.
In a heavy-based casserole dish, heat oil
and cook onion, leek, celery, thyme sprigs
and the bay leaf for 2 minutes. Add speck,
carrot and sliced garlic and cook a further 10
minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer for
15 minutes, then add beans and parsley, salt
and pepper and cook for a final 15 minutes.
To serve, spoon generous amounts of
cassoulet into the centre of plates. Place a
duck Maryland on cassoulet and top with
greens such as asparagus and broccolini.
Drizzle a little juice from the cassoulet over
„ You will need to prepare the meat 24 hours
„ Be sure to keep the leftover fat for future
frying, especially for roast potatoes or for
Sunday morning fried eggs after Mass.
„ Cassoulet tastes better made the day
before, which gives more time for the
flavours to mingle and set.
„ Store cassoulet in the fridge for up to
Chef Bart's culinary gifts can be enjoyed
at The Cathedral Café, 843 Hunter St
Newcastle West, 8.30am-2pm, Monday-
Friday. P 4961 0546.
By CHEF BARTHOLOMEW CONNORS
I'd like to share a dish with you from my
favourite cookery style -- French cooking.
This was the style I was initially trained
in as a young chef a 'few' years ago. This
month it's time to strap on your aprons and
have a crack at confit. Confit (pronounced
'con-fee') is the traditional French method
of preserving meat for use throughout the
year. The thighs and legs are
usually preserved, with the
breast served fresh. Other
popular meats you could
confit are lamb shoulder
and chicken legs. This is
my wife's favourite dish
when dining out at quality
restaurants, but you can
make it at home
and it could
Ingredients Confit Duck
6 duck Marylands
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
1 litre olive oil (or 2 kg pre-
purchased duck fat)
1 brown onion
100g speck (double-smoked
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk
2 x 400g tins cannellini beans
5 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic
500ml chicken stock
¼ bunch parsley
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