My good friend Kim is marrying her fiancé Justin this weekend, which is great for them of course, only what will fill the gaping hole left in my social life once all the showers, brunches, and lunches are no more?
Kim had pretty much made up her mind within two weeks of their first date that Justin was a keeper. Possibly his talent at opening stuck jars and reaching things off high shelves had something to do with it. I can relate to this – Jon is 6’3″ and Justin, gloriously, is even taller.
Since then, they’ve survived their fair share of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune; holiday food poisoning, a fire that burned down their apartment (!) and the church cancelling on them with three weeks to go before their wedding.
That they are still very much together and very much in love is, I think, a very, very good basis for a marriage.
And so, it’s with great joy and excitement that I’m preparing for my first American wedding. No Hats, I’ve been told.
Jon, told to find his suit and check it didn’t need cleaning, discovered that it was in fact back in the UK along with his shoes. So he has been preparing for his first American wedding by shopping.
Though really, I’ve been happily gearing up to the wedding since the engagement (party at Hilary’s), the planning brunch (party at Jess’s), the Bridal Shower (Hilary’s again) and the Bachelorette night (sailing and a bar by the river). The anticipation builds. The excitement mounts.
Which is a pretty neat segue into dinner, which has been on my mind and in my fridge marinating since Tuesday.
There is a certain school of thought that asserts a pleasure delayed is a pleasure denied. These people have clearly never been part of a wedding, or made Confit of Duck.
It takes three days of marinating, and three and a half hours of cooking, but the results are absolutely worth it.
Here’s the recipe in its entirety:
Confit of Duck Part 1 (serves 4, generously, but it’s so delicious people always want more)4 – 6 duck legs 2 bay leaves 3 sprigs of fresh thyme 2 garlic cloves 5 black peppercorns 1 large onion 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar 4 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp rock salt
- Dice the onion, and the garlic, then mix all the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl
- Rub the duck legs with rock salt, place in the marinade, cover, and leave for three days in the fridge.
Confit of Duck (part 2)
3 lb duck, goose or pork fat 6 tbsp clear honey 3 tsp five spice powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 325f
- On the stove top, melt the fat in a large oven proof pan (this is a dish designed for le Creuset or equivalent)
- Take the duck legs out of the marinade and place in the fat. Cover and bake for 3 hours, checking to see if the meat is fork tender. It might need another half hour
- (You can leave the duck in the fat in the fridge overnight if you prefer, then finish the cooking the following day.)
- Wipe the duck legs clean, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with five spice powder
- Crisp under a hot broiler (grill) – about 3 mins if the duck starts hot, 8 – 10 if it starts cold
- Serve with blanched green beans tossed in garlic oil, some crusty bread and a glass of red wine. Revel in your culinary achievement.