Duck confit, a South of France specialty, involves cooking duck (usually the legs and wings) slowly in its own fat at low heat. This process not only tenderises the meat by turning the connective tissue into gelatine but also intensifies the flavors. This method was originally meant to preserve the duck, but nowadays it’s a great technique to intensify the meat flavours. Our autumn-inspired version pairs it with sauce Bigarade, a traditional orange sauce, and caramelised pumpkin wedges. This pumpkin side (adapted from Jeremy Chan’s recipe found at Great British Chefs’ website) is cooked in emulsified honey butter, resulting in a soft, sweet pumpkin with a caramelised exterior. The dish is completed with spicy seeds, adding a balanced, umami touch.
Autumnal duck confitCourse: MainCuisine: French, ModernDifficulty: Medium
2 duck legs
duck fat to cover completely
salt and pepper
- Sauce Bigarade
75g orange juice
80g beef or duck stock reduction or jus
12g of cold butter
Salt and pepper to taste
12.5g sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
- Pumpkin (adapted from Jeremy Chan)
½ large sweet pumpkin (enough for 6 slices), we recommend Crown Prince or Delica
120g unsalted butter
- Caramelised pumpkin seeds (adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi)
60g pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp maple or agave syrup
½ tbsp soft brown sugar
½ tsp salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Sous vide: 36 hours at 68C Put the seasoned duck legs and the bouquet garni in vacuum bags. Then pour in a little duck fat. Seal and place in sous vide.
- Oven: 3h at 100C Put the seasoned duck legs and the bouquet garni in a ceramic dish and submerge them completely with melted duck fat. Put a lid on or cover tightly with strong aluminium foil and cook.
- Just before the duck is done (about 30min before), prepare your sauce, pumpkin and caramelised seeds. As a last thing, remove the duck from the cooking fat and pat dry. Sear it on a non stick pan until it is seared, crispy and golden.
- Add the honey to a small saucepan, set it on a low heat and let it slowly caramelise.
- Stir in the sherry vinegar and wait for the mixture to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the orange juice in a small saucepan, reduce it by 50% on a low heat.
- Add the stock reduction and the gastrique.
- Once the mixture simmers, take it off the heat and add the cold butter. Stir until the sauce is nicely emulsified. Correct the level of salt and pepper.
- Start with cutting the pumpkin, preparing 6 wedges. In a small saucepan, temper the butter and then add the honey.
- Mix with a whisk until the mixture is emulsified and smooth.
- Transfer the pumpkin slices into a vacuum bag and pour in the emulsion.
- Seal it and put in a pot of boiling water for 20min.
- Once it’s done, remove the pumpkin from the bag reserving the honey butter.
- In a hot pan, caramelise the wedges of pumpkin on one side, then turn and add the honey butter. Baste the pumpkin continuously with the juices until it’s golden on both sides.
- Caramelised pumpkin seeds
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan. In a small bowl mix all ingredients together. Line up a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Spread it over the tray and bake for 13min. Let it cool down.
- Warm up your plates in advance. Pour a generous 2-3 spoonfuls of the orange sauce on the bottom of the place.
- Arrange the caramelised pumpkin wedges and place the duck leg next to them.
- Sprinkle some caramelised seeds on the pumpkin and enjoy!