I don't know how many of you remember the duck confit in the cassolet that I made for the con, but duck confit is one of those things that I suspect a whole lot of people love but aren't quite informed as to its preparation. The particular duck confit that I made started out as a couple of fresh ducks I found at a Chinese market on Clement who were intact including their slit throats. I'm not quite sure what you were supposed to do with the head, but I was quite happy to have their long, slender necks for the makings of duck stock (which is divine).
Duck confit, however, starts by packing the parts with crumbled bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper for a day or two in the fridge. Once the ducks have absorbed all of the thyme wonderfulness, you get out your duck fat from the last time you've made confit, add enough lard to completely cover the ducks and render them for a couple of hours in the softly simmering fat-vat.
Once the ducks are tender, you lay out an earthenware container, place the duck pieces in it, and pour the glorious duck fat back over the duck. It is generally recommended that you let the duck cure for a week in the fridge in this fashion, though it can keep for weeks.
Of course, innovation is your friend. I decided to make a crispy thai-style duck confit salad, so I added orange slices, ginger, garlic, lemon grass to the fat-vat, and otherwise proceeded as normal. Crispifing the duck is a simple procedure: add some of the duck fat back to a heavy saute pan, turn up the heat high and cook until crispy. Served over a bed of greens with tangerines and a nutty vinegarette, and I guarantee that exactly how the duck was prepared will be the last of their questions.