Confit Duck Leg with pommes de terre sarladaise
(potatoes cooked in duck fat),
butter lettuce with fresh herb vinaigrette

Serves 4

Confit duck & roasted potatoes

4 fresh duck Marylands
2 cups rock salt
1 cup white sugar
4 cloves Australian garlic
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
½ tsp whole white peppercorns
1 cinnamon quill
1.5l duck fat
4 large desiree potatoes

Butter lettuce, herb vinaigrette

2 heads garden-fresh butter lettuce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
200ml Australian olive oil
50ml sherry vinegar
½ tsp chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and pepper (for seasoning, to taste)
½ cup lightly chopped continental parsley
½ bunch of chives, cut into spears
You will need to start preparing the duck eight hours before serving.

Heat oven to 130C

Method – Confit duck

1. Pat duck pieces dry with paper towel.

2. Mix white sugar and rock salt together in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the duck pieces and rub the mixture into them well. Cover with the mixture and plastic wrap them, then refrigerate – curing for three hours.

3. Take duck pieces out of curing mixture, rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towel.

4. Place duck pieces into a high sided baking tray or ovenproof pot with herbs, spices, and garlic.

5. Melt the duck fat and pour over duck pieces to completely cover, place baking paper on the surface of the liquid and cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Cover tightly, otherwise use the lid to your pot.

6. Place in the oven to slowly braise for 3-4 hours. Be careful not to let the duck fat boil or bubble. If the oven seems too hot turn it down to 120C. The duck is cooked when a skewer can be pushed easily through the centre of the duck leg.

7. When fully cooked, lift the duck pieces from the duck fat and place on a rack to drain and cool. After five minutes place in fridge. (The duck can be prepared up to this point then stored under duck fat in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.)

Method – Roasted potatoes

Turn oven temperature up to 190C

1. To prepare the potatoes cut to thick circular chips, or desired shape, cover with water and bring to the boil.

2. Season water with salt and simmer potato until still firm in the centre, drain, and allow steam to release some moisture.

3. In the oven heat half a cup of duck fat in a roasting tray.

4. Place the par-boiled potatoes in roasting tray and toss around to coat the potatoes in the fat, then roast until golden brown.

Method – Butter lettuce, herb vinaigrette

1. To make the herb vinaigrette place mustard and vinegar in a small mixing bowl, stir to together. Add chopped tarragon and olive oil. Mix together well and season to taste.

2. Tear well-washed and drained butter lettuce into a salad bowl and top with freshly chopped parsley and chives. Lightly dress the salad and toss before serving.

To serve

Re-roast confit duck legs in a hot oven at 210C for 10 minutes, until the outer skin is crispy and golden. Be careful not to overheat the legs or overbake, else they may become dry. Serve with a stack of crispy roast potatoes, softly braised baby vegetables and butter lettuce salad.

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