[Photographs: Vicky Wasik]
If you go to the trouble of making traditional duck confit, then we owe it to you to offer some ideas for how best to serve it. For our traditional duck confit recipe, we like to keep the French classic bistro vibes going by serving it as part of a light meal, crisping up the duck legs and pairing them with a simply dressed salad of bitter greens. When you can’t hop on a flight to Paris, this weeknight dinner might just be the next best thing. (Note that this recipe also works great with sous vide duck confit.)
Why It Works
- Reheating and crisping duck confit in a nonstick skillet ensures that its delicate skin browns evenly and doesn’t tear.
- The refreshing bite of bitter salad greens tossed in a zippy vinaigrette makes for a perfect foil to the richness of duck confit.
- 4 legs traditional or sous vide duck confit, brought to room temperature and gently removed from fat
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) duck fat from duck confit
- 1 pound (450g) mixed leafy bitter greens, washed and dried (see note)
- Simple vinaigrette, for dressing the salad
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Gently pat duck skin dry with paper towels. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add duck fat to skillet, and spread with a paper towel until no visible fat remains. Add duck legs to skillet, skin-side down, and cook, using a weight or small cast iron skillet to press down on the duck legs for even browning and crisping of the skin. Cook, checking and shifting duck legs occasionally to ensure even browning of skin, until skin is deeply browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully flip duck legs over, and continue to cook until meat is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer duck legs to a plate or rimmed baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, gently toss greens with 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45ml) of vinaigrette, using your hands to lightly and evenly dress greens, adding more vinaigrette as needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide salad evenly between individual plates and top with duck legs. Serve.
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