Duck confit with peach salad and blackberry aioli
Submerge me in fat… I’m done! Rarely will the words ‘fat’ and ‘salad’ be found in the same sentence other than to point out the lack there of
That is until you say ‘Bonjour’ to this very French way of preserving and cooking cured duck in its own fat. We’ve taken the french theme a little further and paired it with another french staple… Garlic, in a new take on how to treat a haul of foraged blackberries.
2-3 Duck legs (thighs and drumsticks)
3 Large garlic cloves smashed
2 Bay leaves, torn
4 Juniper berries
1 tsp Black peppercorns sprigs of herbs, thyme and rosemary
5 tbsp Salt
2 jars Duck fat
2 Peaches, stone removed and sliced
2 Apples, core removed and sliced
Dressed salad leaves
Handful of blackberries
Soft brown sugar
150g Blackberries, rinsed
3 Garlic Cloves
200ml Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
To make the duck confit, mix together the dry ingredients, and rub over the duck, giving it a good coating. Put in the fridge to marinate for 12 hours. Melt the duck fat in an oven-proof heavy bottomed pan, remove the duck from the salt mix, brushing off the excess and rinse under cold water. Pat dry and place in the melted duck fat in a single layer, so that the legs are covered in a layer of fat. Bring to a simmer and transfer to a preheated 150°c oven. Cook for 1½ – 2 hours, until the meat is very soft.
(At this point the duck can be transferred to a sterilised jar, covered in the melted fat and stored for up to 6 months in the fridge)
Remove the duck legs from the oil, and crisp up in a frying pan until golden brown, remove from the heat and shred the meat. Set to one side and keep warm until needed.
To make the aioli, put the blackberries in a small pan of water and cover with a little water, simmer until the fruit is soft. Remove from the heat and using a blender purée Return to the pan, and reduce until thickened, stirring constantly. In a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic with the salt and mix in 3-4 tbsp of the puréed fruit. Put in a clean blender or food processor and add 3 tbsp of oil a drop at a time. With the motor still running add the remaining oil in a steady stream. Until you have the consistency of a thin glossy mayonnaise. Put in the fridge until needed.
To make the peach salad, heat a griddle pan until really hot, sprinkle the sugar over the cut side of the peaches and griddle in the pan until caramelised and slightly charred on each side. Meanwhile toast the almonds lightly in a separate hot pan.
To serve, scatter the salad leaves on a plate, along with the shredded duck, the caramelised peach, apple slices and nuts. Drizzle with the blackberry aioli and finish with a scattering of fresh blackberries.