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The Study of: Duck Confit Quesadilla Recipe

Destination Hotels & Resorts’ new culinary series “The Study Of” explores popular ingredients with an in-depth look at their history, common recipes, perfect beverage pairings and more. Duck, the selected ingredient for this quarter is well known for its rich flavor and cooking versatility.

Visit “The Study Of” website to learn more about this often overlooked poultry and get delicious duck recipes from the entire Destination Culinary team, then take a stab at my Duck Confit Quesadilla recipe below.  If you’d rather spend some time on the bay instead of in the kitchen, come to Paradise Point’s legendary waterfront Barefoot Bar & Grill through September, where we’ll be pairing this dish with a swell local summer ale: Windansea Wheat Hefeweizen by Karl Strauss.

Duck Confit Quesadilla Recipe
Yield:  12 duck leg and thighs
Servings: 6-12

Duck Confit Ingredients

  • ½ cup coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons white peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 whole duck legs (leg and thigh)
  • 15 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 67 ounces rendered duck fat
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Quesadilla Ingredients

  • 3 cups fontina cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups white cheddar, shredded
  • ½ cup roasted green chilies
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried apricots, julienned
  • 6 – 12 inch tortilla
  • 4 cups of confit duck, shredded with fat discarded

Assembly:  Duck Confit

1. Finely grind the first 4 ingredients in a spice mill. Trim excess fat from duck legs; place trimmings in a bowl, then cover and chill. Rub salt mixture all over duck legs. Layer the duck legs and garlic cloves in large resealable plastic bag. Seal and chill for 24 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Simmer duck fat, duck trimmings, and 1 cup water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until water evaporates and simmering slows, about 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse salt mixture from duck and discard garlic; pat dry. Place duck in large deep roasting pan. Pour hot fat over the duck, cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook until meat is tender and falling off the bone, about 3 1/2 hours. Uncover and cool slightly, then transfer to refrigerator. Chill until cold. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. (Can be made one month ahead. Keep chilled and completely covered in duck fat.)

3. Before using duck confit in a recipe, preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Remove duck from fat; scrape fat back into pan. Working in batches, cook duck with skin side down in skillet for 1 minute. Transfer, skin side down, to rimmed baking sheet. Roast until skin is crisp and duck is heated, about 15 minutes. Remove from sheet, keeping skin intact.

Assembly: Duck Quesadilla

1. In a large bowl combine the first five ingredients and set aside.

2. Place a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat, lightly spray pan and place one tortilla in skillet. Cover the surface of the tortilla with a good amount of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle shredded duck over cheese and continue to cook until cheese start to melt. Once cheese has started to melt, gently lift on end of the tortilla and fold it over the other have making a half moon shape. Flip quesadilla over and continue cooking until done or cheese is melted though. Remove from skillet and cut and serve.

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