Confiting- perserving meat with a fat covering

I have to admit that I still have a bit of trouble with this one, not for short terms perserving but the idea that confit will last three to four months.

Confit appears to have come from France as a way of perserving. The meat is salted, then cooked long and slow in fat. It was the way to perserve duck and goose mainly for the winter use.  Now its used year around for most fowl.

Confit is stored in cleaned, boiled glass jars that the meat is placed in and covered and filled with fat to keep out all air, The meat takes serve weeks to mellow and is to be stored in a cool dry place.

I have a couple different jars of duck legs covered in duck fat aging at this point. I have not yet tried putting them in crocks (has anyone else and did it work well?)

I can see why it was mainly ducks and geese, you can’t get enough fat off chickens to make a good confiit, where as you can off the ducks or geese, also the chicken fat’s quality can not be compared to the duck fat’s which is excellent. I did render the duck fat and clean it before using it, I have seen some books recommend pouring off the fat as the duck cooks and saving it for this, i would still give it a final cleaning personally.

I think it would be a better idea to confit the chicken meat with the duck fat personally. I have tried both salting the meat and or corning the meat, and both have their own finished taste, the salted is much more mild but the corned duck legs are a lovely color in dishes with its deep rich red, and small amounts work wonderful in green salads or larger dishes, or use like a good bacon, a little goes a long way.

I have some in the fridge, an some in the cool dark cellar, I am planning on openning one per month at the 1, 2, 3, and 4 month stages to check quality and flavour. Some books seem to say that a few weeks is all and others say that the flavour continues to develop with age. If you have done this, what is the longest you have left it and then used it safely? Was it kept in the fridge or the cellar, and if so, what was the average temp of the cellar?

Duck Confit Quiche -Serves two for supper or four for light lunch with side salad.

Basic pie crust for one regular pie pan.

  •  6 pullet eggs (or 4 regular eggs)
  • 1 cup of sheep’s milk or heavy cream per the recipe
  • 1 and half cups of duck confit in chuncks, pulled apart -I used two duck legs
  • 3 tbsp of parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of chopped basil
  • 1 tsp of chopped horseradish greens
  • 1 tsp of chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Oven 350, Beat your eggs in the cream, add the duck confit, then cheese, herbs, put in your pastry and bake about 30 min till puffed up and golden, serve with a green salad on the side.

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4 Responses to Confiting- perserving meat with a fat covering

  1. Pam says:

    I’ve never done it myself but Grandma did it all the time with pork in crocks. They were stored in the root cellar. She didn’t have a freezer. It lasted at least a year.
    I’m looking forward to learn how the duck works for you.

    • That’s interesting, would that be the old fashioned clay crockers and was she doing it with the pork lard? Any idea if she salted the meat first or just cleaned, cut and packed? I will give a try this coming fall in a small amount when I am going to be butchering some large blacks. It would be worth trying, lasted a year..wow.. Will let you know how the duck turns out for sure

  2. Julia Swancy says:

    omigoodness, this is SO far out of my league! 🙂 perhaps in the future I’ll experiment with it though, sounds interesting at least! right now I’m still nervous about pressure canning! lol

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