Oui Confit!

Recently, I did a “Grub Street” interview for NY Magazine http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/09/david-alan-grier-grub-street-diet.html …Here’s what really happened. That day I talked about strolling around Soho, eating and gallery trawling I forgot to mention that I was hawling around a 9 pound frozen goose! I’d purchased the said goose from Dean & Deluca earlier that morning and FYI, I paid a grip for it! I had been planning to make some goose rillette. I’d already ordered fresh duck legs from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. I hadn’t made duck confit in a while so it being the end of summer and as I calculated it, If I made the confit at the end of September by Thanksgiving the confit and rillette should be perfectly aged and ready to devour! The plan was to make everything in New York and then overnight it to myself in LA, thus making it the most expensive confit and rillette on the planet! Why would I do such a thing you may ask? Answer: Why do you breathe? Because I had to! First, I made the confit.Image

I seasoned the duck legs with sea salt, fresh garlic, bay leaves, cracked black pepper, rosemary, and five spice powder. I put a lid on my container and let them marinade overnight.


The next day I took them out of the fridge and rinsed off the duck legs saving the bay leaves and crushed garlic…You must rinse the legs or they will be too salty after cooking. I learned this the hard way. I didn’t have enough duck fat to cook all of my legs so I called around the city and found some unrenedered duck fat at Giovanni Esposito & Sons on 9th Avenue. I love this place. A real old style NY butcher. One the few left in NYC. I explained my situation and it was decided that I needed 9 pounds of unrendered frozen duck fat to finish my 6 duck legs for the confit. I’ve never rendered duck fat, but I was up for the challenge.


I let the duck fat thaw in the fridge, and then cut it up into cubes and rendered it on my stove top.


This didn’t take nearly as long as rendering lard does…And look what I got.


This is my beautiful, strained, golden, duck fat ready to use! I put the duck legs, the reserved bay leaves, garlic and fat into my cast iron dutch oven and put them into a preheated oven at 200 degrees.Image

I let them slow cook until the legs were tender, yet not falling apart. You have to judge this yourself. This time it took about 4 hours to get them perfect. I then put them into plastic Tupperware containers as I thought this would be better to ship them in.Image

Done n done! Next was the goose rillette. so, here is my beautiful goose, fully defrosted and ready to go.


I cut the goose up and seasoned it with garlic, cracked pepper, bay leaves, and rosemary.


I reserved the goose legs and wings for some goose confit…I mean why not have a party. I slow everthing in duck fat until the goose meat was falling off the bone.


I pulled everything off the bone. Removed all of the sinew and things. I then roughly chopped the meat and then shredded it by hand. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT put the meat into a food processor as this will make not rillette but rather a goose mouse or pudding…Eiewwwwwwww. I took a wooden spoon and tablespoon by tablespoon incorporated the strained goose fat into the meat until I got a nice creamy texture. All along I seasoned the meat until it tasted just right. You need to keep in mind that once chilled and aged the seasoning will change so it’s good to season on the heavy side.Image

I put about an inch of goose fat on top of my rillette. Let that chill and put about a quarter inch of home made lard on top of that to further seal it and there it is! I put everything into a box and sent it to myself. My box was waiting at my front door when I arrived back in LA. Thanksgiving is going to be gooooooooood this year!


  1. Pingback: Here’s How David Alan Grier Renders Duck Fat :

  2. Do you have an immersion circulator? You can make duck confit using sous vide with just a tablespoon of duck fat, saving the rest for making frites!

    • I have an immersion oven, and have heard of confit prepared with it, but the point of confit is to cook the duck legs and preserve them in duck fat. When left to age properly the flavor gets and better. I’ve aged my confit for over 3 months, and the result is unparalleled.

      • Yep! I just leave them in the bags. They are sterilized just like traditional confit. Now, it’s a good question whether you get a little fermentation-like action in the traditional preparation that you might not get in hermetically sealed bags. Sound like a taste-test might be in order….

      • I just used a tablespoon of duck fat, and some more renders from the skin, so I get about two tablespoons out of the bag. I’ve since read (maybe from Modernist Cuisine?) that you can actually use no extra fat, but I haven’t tried it.

        I also confit smoked chicken thighs for David Chang’s Chicken & Egg the same way. Leaves me a fancy weeknight dinner in the time I need to cook some rice.

        Love you every time you’re on Adam Carolla. Laugh my ass off.

  3. Last time I made confit I used a green salt, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon recipe, and it was out of this world! Go DAG go! Great podcast with the ACE this morning. I wish you would post your curing meat adventures in here, since I do this year around in my backyard in California also! I built me a six foot high double door cold smoker to do salamis and Franch, Italian and Hungarian dry cured and smoked sausages in the winter!

  4. Hey David, if this whole acting thing bever pans out, up can always go to culinary school……. Seriously, top notch cooking. Awesome !!!! Whole Foods acually sells rendered duck fat and it’s pretty good. When I’m feeling crazy, I buy some and make french frys.

  5. I’ll eat rillettes of any kind, any day- yours looks so good! That, a crust baguette, arugula salad and a bottle of wine is my idea of a perfect dinner….or lunch…or breakfast (sub coffee for wine).

  6. I need that cast iron dutch oven! Its gorgeous!
    Also, you did an amazing job- perfect weather for cassoulet and my favorite bistro makes a fantastic duck confit leg to go in it! Yum!


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