Caneton Braise ala Herbes Moutarde
The other night I wanted to try some of new skills and knowledge I have learned so far from Julia and create my own dish. I am also trying to use items in our freezer and we just so happened to have Duck Legs. So, I braised duck legs in white wine and a mustard herb sauce!
Marshall and I planned this dish for about 3 days and went over it several times so I knew exactly what I will be doing and the techniques I would be using. The skill I am learning here is how to brown meat that has a lot of fat on it.
The skin of the duck is basically half an inch of fat. When you seared them, the fat renders, or melts, off and becomes liquid. Duck produces a lot of fat and oil. Just one duck leg gave me about a quarter cup of fat. I braised three legs, so after I had browned the skin of the duck, I had about a cup and a half of fat leftover. I took a cup of that fat and simply poured it into a mason jar. I let it cool for about an hour before sealing it up and putting it in the fridge. It basically lasts forever and adds great flavor to anything.
You can also do this process with bacon. Instead of throwing the fat out, put it in a container and use it whenever you want. We like to use bacon fat on steaks, just remember to add slightly less salt as the bacon fat has quite a bit of salt to it.
After I seared the duck skin I added half a pound of cut bacon into the remaining fat to add flavor. Once the bacon was cooked (Not crispy or black. Should be slightly browned) I added my veggies and sautéed them for about 5 minutes. Then I added some tomato paste and let that saute as well for about another 5 minutes.
I deglazed the pan with white wine and cooked for another 5-10 minutes. This is to make sure the alcohol cooks out of the liquid. The goal is to build layers of flavor on top of each other. Also, after I poured the wine into the braising dish, I poured some wine into a cup, and proceeded to drink it! (I like to cook with wine. Sometimes it makes it into the dish as well!)
Once the alcohol was cooked off and drank up, I added chicken stock for more flavor and put the dish in the oven for 2 hours. Presto, my Braised Duck!
Marshall absolutely loved it. Duck is a very subtle meat, so I didn’t use anything that would over power the flavor. It turned out to be very succulent, but I made rice for it which cut through the fatness perfectly. The meat is dark and rich with a slight earthy flavor. The mustard sauce I used at the end added a small bit of kick which really brought out the savory flavor of the duck but again was not over powering.
Also, crispy duck skin never sucks. (Not sayin, just sayin…)
I am so proud of my first grand dish. It turned out exactly as I wanted it too, and it was delicious. Marshall took it for lunch the next day and our friends just had to try a taste!