Duck Confit, Pommes de terre “Sardalaise” and Chimay Tripel
The jar of duck confit I purchased had two thighs instead of the usual two legs, but you won’t be getting any complaints from me. The thigh is my favorite part of the any fowl – it has a lot of skin because of its relatively large surface area, lots of fat for flavor, and in the case of duck – savory dark meat. I just crisped up the duck by cooking it in a tablespoon of its own fat over high heat to brown the skin. It’s best to cover the pan when doing this because it will splatter quite a bit. It’s suggested to finish cooking by roasting the duck in the oven, but I was satisfied enough with this. The duck was already cooked through even before it went into the jar, after all. And duck confit is glorious at any temperature.
While the duck was in the pan, I “parboiled” a couple of potatoes in the microwave for four minutes, chopped them into 1-inch pieces, and fried them in the fat left behind in the same pan where I seared the duck. This is not quite your authentic Pommes de terre Sardalaise, the traditional side to a crispy duck confit which involves longer cooking with thinly sliced potatoes. It’s more like home fries in duck fat, but it’s all the same. When the potatoes were crisp and brown, I added some minced garlic and chopped parsley off the heat, tossed all of it together and served it with the duck with a final sprinkle of sea salt and cracked black pepper over everything. This was probably the most luxurious ten-minute meal I’ve had.