Monday, March 12, 2012
While I did not shoot many ducks or geese this year...it was actually a miserable season all over the "Delmarva" region, I did harvest some birds and put a few in the freezer. The problem with wild game is if you leave it in the freezer too long, even well packaged, it tends to freezer burn and lose the unique flavor of game. So this Sunday I decided to make Cassoulet and use up some of the last duck breats.
I had already made confit from some goose legs...really the only thing you can do with the rangey tough legs of a 3 or 4 year old bird harvested on its 3rd Southern migration.
The confit, along with some Wood Duck breast and some store bought Kielbasa made for a delectable game stew in the French vein.
The procedure is fairly simple:
Cube the duck breats with fat on....render it on meduim flame in an oven proof Dutch oven style vessel(I have Le Crusette.) When the fat is melted, remove the meat. Add 2 diced onions to the fat and saute until just caramelized, de-glaze with some white wine, then add 3 or 4 cloves of chopped garlic, fresh Thyme, ground pepper and about 2 cups of game stock or chicken stock.
Simmer for a few minutes then add 2 cans of drained diced tomatoes, 4 cans of white beans, return the duck meat to the pot and drop in the shredded goose confit. Add the cubed kielbasa and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the top with a mixture of fresh made coarse bread crumbs mixed with chopped fresh parsley. remember to place the bone from the confit in when it goes in the oven...this adds another level of flavor and richness.
Then put the pot uncovered in a 350 degree oven and cook for about 1/2 hour. Remove and let cool a bit on the stove top. With tongs, retrieve the bone of the goose leg.
Serve with a fresh salad of butter lettuce with mustard vinagrette, fresh crusty bread and a Cotes de Rhone or Pinot Noir and dinner is ready. We enjoyed this last night with my family, my mom and a guest...rave reviews....delicious.