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I'd be delicious! - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
I'd be delicious!
I finally let myself fall asleep last night around 1AM, after convincing myself that I wasn't going to wake up at the ten hour mark to find a burnt smoky mess waiting for me. Not sure how that would happen given the super low temperatures and sheer volume, but I do tend to veer into doomsday predictions from time to time.

Due to a sad miscalculation, ten hours had me up at 5:30AM to fuss with duck legs and hot fat. Turns out that the most complicated part of this whole project was figuring out vessels in which to store the finished confit. Ruhlman & Polcyn recommend an earthenware crock to keep light out, but the one I have is an enormous affair that's intended for pickles and the like, and I wanted to be able to pack two to a container so I didn't necessarily have to deal with all four legs when I finally broke the seal. I've seen legs packed in canning jars, but the jar I have that's most suited is currently home to preserved lemons. I'm pretty sure I spent more time walking around the kitchen trying to decide what to do than I did finally packaging the duck. I opted for one small casserole which was not quite deep enough and one larger tupperware container.

When in doubt, go food-grade plastic.

Sometime relatively soon, two of the legs will be shredded and made into a rillette. (Strangely, I do have a perfect little crock for that). The other two I plan to let sit for a month or so to sufficiently mellow. From there, they'll either end up browned and on a plate with frisee and roasted potatoes, or I'll do something a little crazy like confit poutine. I can't just let Duck Fat have all the fun.
22 comments or Leave a comment
cook_ting From: cook_ting Date: September 3rd, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay Confit!!!

We used to store them in flat fish totes. Plastic all the way.
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I might be a little more leery if I thought we'd be keeping it for any length of time, but I'll be surprised if we hit the one month mark with them.
From: uruz Date: September 3rd, 2008 01:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Why aren't you a chef? Like, a real, grown-up, "I own a restaurant" chef?
cook_ting From: cook_ting Date: September 3rd, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Because being a chef is like consigning yourself to the Hell of Burrowing Maggots for no reward but alcoholism and an early and lonely death?

Maybe that's just me.
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hard to say. I understand that it's a very difficult existence; near everyone I've ever known in the trade (or graduates of the trade) has said that it's a death of a thousand cuts (or something like it).

Leaving aside anxieties over funding my existence, it probably comes down the idea that I don't know nearly enough paired with a very real fear of coming to hate what I do. Right now it keeps me sane, and I'm happy enough for that.
prosicated From: prosicated Date: September 3rd, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am mightily familiar with the part of cooking where you walk around the kitchen cursing all the strange things you have going on account of lacking the right container for your newest concoction. Someday I hope I will also be familiar with the making of duck confit and bacon and the like, too.
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your bacon adventures could begin tonight!
bunnyroo From: bunnyroo Date: September 3rd, 2008 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
your adventures sound tasty!
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
They has a flavor?
coraline From: coraline Date: September 3rd, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
...i should really try making confit someday, given how much i love it.
and i hear there is a crazy plan to do lunch at duck fat sometime :)
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
All things considered, it's pretty easy. Consider this a gentle nudge.

I've never been part of a crazy plan to lunch at Duck Fat. Never once. Really.
sassyinkpen From: sassyinkpen Date: September 3rd, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
You need to post more about your cooking/food adventures. This stuff is really cool to read about.

(Have you read Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell?)
faux_eonix From: faux_eonix Date: September 3rd, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
He's reading it right now. :)
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm trying. ^^

J&J is in my bag as I write this. It's been an entertaining read so far.
faux_eonix From: faux_eonix Date: September 3rd, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't forget that you cooked the last of the bacon last night in duck fat.
That was just decadent.

Also, why didn't you use the orange, ceramic casserole dish for storing the confit?
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Decadent to some. Utterly necessary for me. I actually didn't get to try it. Was it that tasty?
faux_eonix From: faux_eonix Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was all kinds of wrong.
Tasty tasty wrong.
why_style From: why_style Date: September 3rd, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
10 hours! i'm not sure i could commit to anything for that long. i knew confit takes awhile, but i had no idea - i thought it was more like 3-4 hours. but i'm glad it went well and there was no burnt mess in your oven - never a good thing. your adventures are always so inspiring - just being able to let yourself do something is a big deal (at least to me).
komos From: komos Date: September 3rd, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can make a 4 hour confit if you raise the temperature to 225F, and I've seen some recipes that talk about cooking at 275F. The book I'm slowly learning from is pretty adamant about not letting the fat temperature rise above 200F, though, and I opted for that route because low and slow makes a great deal of sense to me. That, and I really like the idea of something I can fire up and forget until the next morning. I just need to get to the forgetting part.

Thanks for saying. ^^
schizohedron From: schizohedron Date: September 6th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Have the yen for slow food, but not the means

I've gotta move out of this apartment to a place with a backyard, so I can set up a Weber Smokey Mountain unit and get some low & slow barbecue going. My last visit to one of Bergen County's few BBQ joints left me not only disappointed, but standing in one of those zones of outrage where you raise your arms and say, "I CAN DO BETTER!!"

I would probably fill the half day of tending, fueling, and waiting for the BBQ with a massive chili-making maneuver. That I can do NOW. And should. The freezer runs low.
komos From: komos Date: September 9th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Have the yen for slow food, but not the means

I know that feeling. What's worse is when you realize that about a place that had previously been pretty respectable. Of course, last year's trip hunting wild BBQ in North Carolina may have ruined New England pulled pork for me.

I know a couple of folks with the Smokey Mountain who love the rig, and one went so far as to do the mod so it can be used as a grill in a pinch. With that and Sputnik running when we were camping a couple of weeks ago, we ate ridiculously well. Overall, it was like spending the weekend in the kitchen outdoors, but it was worth it for game meat chili cooked over coals in a big cast iron dutch oven.

Out of curiosity, do you make your own chili powder?
schizohedron From: schizohedron Date: September 11th, 2008 10:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Have the yen for slow food, but not the means

Haven't tried grinding my own just yet. I've made the switch to Penzey's, especially after learning they have an outlet in Grand Central Terminal. I add olive oil to the chili, just to give it some fat (I usually use beans only), and lately I've been blooming the spices in 3 or 4 T of oil before adding the other ingredients. Then I add the remaining portions of spices at intervals during the simmer. I usually don't even eat it until the next day; I just let everything relax overnight in the fridge.

One DJ from radio station WFMU goes on music/meat quests through the South, hunting BBQ through TN, NC, and GA and buying 45s and 78s wherever he can find them. I don't think he's gotten as far west as Kansas City, but I wouldn't be surprised.
22 comments or Leave a comment