Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cassoulet part II


If I am going to all this work I am not going to whimp out now. We decided to confit the duck legs ourselves. We went with Paula Wolferts sous vide method.

So, we seasoned the legs and sealed them with our Food Saver sealer.


Submerged them in water that was kept at 180 degrees for 5 hours.


Put in an ice bath to cool. Really was very easy if you don't mind becoming best friends with a polder themometer.


Duck Confit Cooked in a Pouch
Recipe by Paula Wolfert

3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
6 large Pekin duck legs, untrimmed

In a bowl, mix the salt with the crushed peppercorns and the thyme. Put the duck legs in a large, shallow container and sprinkle them all over with the seasoning mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Rinse the legs and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Using a vacuum sealer, package and seal the legs in pairs.
Set a large, enameled cast-iron casserole over a heat diffuser on the stove. Add the pouches and enough hot water to cover generously. Top the pouches with a heatproof plate to keep them submerged. Cover the casserole and bring the water to 180° over moderately low heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook at 180° for 5 hours. The duck legs are ready when they feel very tender and the meat begins to separate from the bone. The joints between the legs and thighs should crack easily when pressed firmly.

Prepare an ice water bath. With tongs, transfer the pouches to the water bath and let soak until the duck legs are cold and the fat has solidified. Dry off the pouches and refrigerate for up to 1 week. If a refrigerated pouch begins to puff up, discard it.
To serve, open the pouches and scrape the fat off the legs. Roast or pan-fry the confit until warmed through and crisp.


  1. cassoulet is my one of my favorite foods -- Kudo's to you for doing it right!

  2. I'll have to tell her you're doing this.i've never cooked sous vide.

  3. i have heard of this... In fact, one of the most "Famous" BBQ joints supplies all their stores with "fresh" cooked BBQ in this fashion. No one knows the difference, and it works great...


  4. thanks for sharing! I just need to get one of those bag sealers.

  5. Awesome! I have never cooked sous vide before. The other day I was imagining a sous vide steak. Need a Food Saver!

  6. Yum! I can't wait to see the cassoulet---one of my favorite winter time dishes.