Friday, March 11, 2011


Class last night at the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op. It was for one of my favorite
The instructor was Dionisio Esperas who teaches all types of cuisine at the Co-op cooking classes.  Last night the menu was:
French green lentil salad with duck confit
Fresh spring rolls with roasted duck w/ mango and mint with a chili lime dipping sauce
Seared duck breast with cherry Madiera sauce
Crispy duck chow mein.
It was a fun class in which we learned how to confit the duck, the use of duck fat and of course the different ways duck can be served.  Everything was delicious.

In this post I'm giving you Dio's recipe for the Crispy duck chow mein and also the recipe to make your own Duck confit. It is so tasty.

Duck Confit

6 duck legs
1tsp dried thyme
1/2tsp black pepper
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp juniper berries, crushed into small pieces
1/2tsp ground ginger
generous pinch ground clove
generous pinch ground allspice
1 bay leaf
1clove garlic, put through a press
2Tbsp sea salt
5-6 cups duck fat (you can substitute chicken fat,vegetable oil or olive oil)
In a small bowl combine the thyme and all the spices and the garlic. Mix well.  Coat the duck legs well with the spice and garlic mixture. Lay the legs in a shallow pan and sprinkle salt over both sides of the legs.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 24-36 hours.
When ready to cook, brush off the spice rub and rinse of any excess salt.  Pat the legs dry and place in a Dutch oven.  Add enough duck fat to cover the legs by 1/2 inch.  Place the Dutch oven in a 300 degree oven and cook until meat is tender and falling off the bone(about 2hrs). Duck is ready to use.
For prolonged storage, keep duck in an air tight container covered with just the fat, no meat juices.Duck can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  For longer storage freeze duck in the fat for 2-3 months.

Crispy Duck Chow Mein

the meat from 2-3 duck legs shredded (about a cup)
1box Annie Chun(or any brand) dried chow mein noodles or 1lb fresh chow mein noodles
3Tbsp safflower or canola oil
1/2 C thinly sliced yellow onion
1Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 stalks celery thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 cloves garlic minced
4oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/4tsp Chinese five spice
1/4C chicken stock
 2Tbsp soy sauce or to taste
1/4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1Tbsp water
2tsp toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4C chopped cilantro
2 green onions thinly sliced

Boil noodles in salted water to desired doneness, rinse under cold water and drain well. Coat noodles with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. Set aside
In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil and chicken stock set aside.
In a large non-stick saute pan heat 1Tbs oil and saute onions and ginger for 10 seconds.  Add the celery and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender.  Add in the garlic and five spice powder and saute for 20 seconds.  Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and set aside.
To the pan add 2Tbsp oil and add the duck confit.  Cook for 1-2 minutes to crisp up the meat.  Remove to a bowl.  To the pan add the noodles and stir fry the noodles for 2-3 minutes to crisp them a bit, stirring frequently, adding more oil if necessary.  When noodles are crisp return the shredded duck and vegetables to the pan and mix well.  Add the liquid seasonings, the soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil and chicken stock.
mix well.  Adjust seasonings.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.

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