Duck confit parmentier is a classic Gascon dish, similar to a cottage pie, but with duck meat. It’s the kind of meal I would have as a ‘plat du jour’ (daily special) in a cozy bistrot with red and white checkered tablecloth, a salad on the side and a little glass of Bordeaux red wine. That’s what I call a perfect lunch.
I make my own duck confit – it is very easy and you can prepare it in advance. You can also use canned/preserved duck confit – if that is the case then this recipe will take very little time. I like to serve this duck confit parmentier as a savoury cake – so I bake it in a cake pan with a removable bottom (approx 25 cm). You can choose a classic baking dish if you wish. Serves 4-6.
5 good-quality fresh duck legs
6 garlic cloves
handful of thyme
4-6 tbsp duck fat
Generous amount of salt and pepper
For the mashed potatoes:
5-6 large potatoes
4 tbsp crème fraîche
4 tbsp butter
30 grs parmesan
For the duck layer:
2 cloves garlic
1 glass red wine
handful of parsley
Shredded duck meat from the confit
Butter or duck fat for frying
Cover your duck legs with ‘fleur de sel’ (coarse sea-salt) and rub them well. Cover and leave in your fridge overnight, but you can also salt your duck legs and leave them 2 hours in room temperature. When ready, take out the duck legs (make sure they are at room temperature, I always take out any meat I am about to cook 2 hours before) and place them in a oven-proof dish. Add 4-6 tbsp of duck fat over the duck legs. Add the garlic (with the skin on) and sprigs of thyme and bake in a preheated oven on 200°C for about 2 hours. I would recommend to check the duck legs after and hour and a half. When ready set aside and leave to cool. Separate meat from bones and skin with the help of a fork. Set aside.
Pre-heat oven 180 degrees celsius.
Chop the shallots, onion and garlic and fry in a large pan with the butter or duck fat for 4-5 minutes. Add the duck meat and chopped parsley, deglaze with the red wine, and reduce for 4-5 minutes. Place in the bottom of a the baking pan.
Peel the potatoes, cook them in boiling salted water until tender. Mash the potatoes, add butter, crème fraîche, salt and pepper. Mix well. Top the duck mixture with the mashed potatoes. With a fork, flatten the potatoes to create an even layer. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with a salad on the side.