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French Summer Cassoulet Salad with Confit Duck Legs

confit duck legs

Cassoulet salade d’été avec confit de canard – a summer cassoulet salad with preserved duck: The perfect summer lunch for a warm day – a very french salad with confit duck legs that looks and tastes delicious from food writer Karen S Burns-Booth of Lavender and Lovage. Confit is an ancient practice fostered in France as a way to preserve fatty meats such as duck, goose and pork. The process preserves the meat and also intensifies the flavour

“Deconstructed cassoulet in a summer salad with crispy duck legs and mesclun salad… all the elements of a winter warmer but lightened up for an elegant and very French lunch!” says Karen.

Serves 2

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 20 minutes

Cassoulet salad
4 tablespoons tinned white (haricot) beans
1 large tomato (very finely diced into small dice)
1/2 white onion (peeled, and very finely diced into small dice)
2 tablespoons French black olives (chopped into fine dice)
50g French garlic sausage (very finely diced into small dice)
Fresh thyme sprigs (with flowers)

Confit de Canard
2 cuisse de confit de canard (2 whole preserved duck legs in duck fat)

Mesclun leaves with herbs (about 100g)
4 tablespoons French extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons French red wine vinegar with shallots

1 slice of toasted baguette (broken or crushed into breadcrumbs)


confit duck legsStep 1: First assemble your cassoulet salad on the plate that you are serving your meal on – I like to use a large white plate. Take a 3″/8 cms diameter cooking ring/mould, that is at least 2″/6cms high and place it to one side on the plate. Start with the white beans, put 2 tablespoons into each ring, and press down firmly without crushing them. Add the finely diced tomatoes next (leaving some for the top) and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Next, add the onions, olives, garlic sausage and then end with some more tomatoes, pressing down firmly between each addition of ingredients. Allow the salad to sit in the rings until the duck has been cooked and the meal is ready to serve. Cover and put to one side in a cool place.

Step 2:  Next cook your preserved duck legs; I like to cook mine outside on the BBQ whenever possible, and cook them in a large wok. Heat up some of the excess duck fat (that the duck legs came in), in a large roomy frying pan or wok, and then add the duck legs FLESH side down first. Cook over a medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, and then turn up the heat to high and turn the legs over so the skin side is facing downwards. Cook over a high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and very crisp. Drain well and place the duck legs on the same plate that the cassoulet salad has been assembled.

Step 3: Put some mesclun leaves to one side on the plates, and then VERY carefully pull the rings up and off the cassoulet salad, leaving a compact shaped salad, see photos. Mix the olive oil and vinegar together and then drizzle the vinaigrette over both salads and around the plate. Garnish with the toasted bread crumbs and scatter more thyme leaves and thyme flowers over the dish. Serve with South Western Rose wine and fresh baguette.

More recipes from Karen at Lavender and Lovage

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