Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More confit

I am honoring labor by spending my Monday holiday smearing my kitchen with duck fat. That is, I am preparing a second batch of confit.

For those of us living outside France, confit requires forethought. One must find duck legs, duck fat, an appropriate vessel. Because Berkeley Bowl was out of duck legs, I went to Andronico's, where the only legs were Grimaud (they of the Stockton duck fat producers) Moulard legs. They were $7.99 a pound, shrink-wrapped, and appear smaller than the Pekins I normally purchase. Then it was on to Enzo's butcher, where I bought the last three pounds of duck fat they had. The woman next me eyed the containers warily as the butcher asked "Making something good?"

"Confit."

"Wonderful!"

Back home I needed to clean out the glass container, still filled with fat from the previous batch of confit. I confess I was tempted to toss the entire greasy thing and start over, but ecological and financial considerations overruled.

I spooned some of the fat into a smaller container for cooking. But there is no way I will use up four pounds of fat before it becomes rancid. I filled two empty yogurt containers and took them to the dumpster. Now there was only the glass jar, which looked like it was coated in vaseline.

I filled the sink with hot soapy water and began wiping the jar out with paper towels. One the one hand this was terribly wasteful--all those paper towels--but on the other, we all know fat and sink drains do not mix. Half a roll later the jar wasn't as gelid. It is now standing, soaking.

The legs are defrosting. This time out I plan to use Paula Wolfert's cure: kosher salt, shallots, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, and thyme. She also calls for parlsey, which I'll skip.

If only there were some way to deal with the mess. I wonder what the French do?

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