I had picked up a basket of kumquats at the Santa Monica farmer’s market one weekend and didn’t really know what to do with it. It’s yummy to eat it raw but not so much that I can pop the whole basket in my mouth. So I thought and thought. A savory fruit sauce for duck confit! Yes, a big ol’ pan of duck confit came about because of a little basket of kumquats.
Once again I turned to Suzanne Goin’s duck confit recipe from the Sunday Suppers at Lucques cookbook. I marinated the duck legs overnight with sliced onion, sliced orange, star anise, peppercorn, bay leaves, chile de arbol, and thyme. The next day I scraped off the seasoning into a baking dish, salted and laid the duck legs on top, covered it with warm duck fat, and baked it off at 325 degrees for few hours. After the duck was done cooking I finished it by roasting it shortly in a 400 degree oven. This results in a super crispy browned skin – the best part! Besides the falling off the bone tender duck meat that is.
The kumquats got the same treatment as Goin’s savory cherry compote minus the port – thyme, bay leaves, chiles de arbol, star anise, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, fresh orange juice, sugar, and a little bit of water. I simmered this down until it thickened up and the kumquats cooked down. It smelled spicy and savory, reminding me of the time I was making the savory cherry compote in my kitchen.
For the base of the dish I made sauteed brown rice with kale and toasted walnuts. This paired really well with the earthy duck confit and the spiced kumquat compote. Something about the combination of the walnuts and kumquats made goodness in my mouth. The brown rice was hearty and had a really good bite to it. I added some kale to the dish cuz I gotta have some greens.
For the next round perhaps a duck confit salad with fresh kumquats, toasted walnuts, and arugula? Maybe duck confit with celeriac remoulade like Alice Waters likes it? Duck confit parmentier? Possibilities are endess. Good thing I have six legs stored away in the freezer.