Having fun with food can make your tailgate stand out a head above the rest. Whether you’re team is the ducks, or you’re playing a team with a duck mascot, or you just want to have a unique and delicious dish for your friends to enjoy, this one is sure to please. We’ve broken this one up into sections for the various components.
ChuckWagon Mobile Grilling Systems RecipesDuck Confit Crostini with Macerated Cherri, Pickled Red Onion, and Arugula For The Duck ConfitIngredients:
- 4 duck legs and thighs
- 4 duck wings, trimmed
- 4 cups duck fat
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 6 sprigs thyme
- Coarse ground black pepper
In the bottom of a plastic container, evenly spread roughly 1 tbsp. of salt, half of the sliced shallots, 2 of the crushed garlic cloves, and 3 of the sprigs of thyme. Lay in the duck, skin-side up, in a single layer. Spread the remaining salt, shallots, garlic and thyme over the top of the duck and top off with some coarsely ground black pepper (to your liking). Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Up to 48 hours is okay.
While you preheat oven to 225 degrees, melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Remove the duck pieces from the refrigerator container, brushing the salt mixture off as you do, and place the duck pieces in a single layer in a high-sided baking dish. Select a baking dish sized to ensure the pieces of duck are snug against each other. Pour the melted duck fat over the duck pieces, completely covering the duck pieces with the duck fat. Place the baking dish in the pre-heated oven and cook at a very slow simmer for 2-3 hours, until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone.
Remove the duck confit from the oven, and let it cool a bit so it can be shredded. Save all the rendered fat by pouring it through a strainer into a bowl. Remove the skins from the duck, pull the meat from the bones, and shred the meat by hand, placing it into a container for refrigeration. Add the rendered fat to the duck meat and refrigerate it. The meat will store this way for several weeks as the duck confit method of preparation was once used as a method of meat preservation. For the Macerated CherriesIngredients:
- 3 bags of dried cherries
- 1 bag of frozen, tart cherries
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup brandy
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 “coins” of ginger (about the size of a 50 cent piece)
- 2 large pieces of orange rind (removed from the orange with a vegetable peeler)
- 5 Szechuan peppercorns (also can use black peppercorns)
Add all ingredients into a saucepan on high heat. Bring contents to a boil and reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently. Cook until the majority of the liquid has evaporated, but not all, about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the ginger and orange rind. Store cherries in the fridge in an air-tight container and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.
For the Pickled Red Onion
- 1 large red onion
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar (could also substitute balsamic vinegar)
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar (could also substitute agave nectar or honey)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Begin heating a pot of water to boiling. Cut the onion into slices roughly ¼” wide and put them in a colander in the sink. Pour the boiling water over the onions and shake out excess water.
In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and whisk together. Add the onions to the vinegar solution and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, stirring occasionally to expose all pieces of onion to the liquid. Can store for several days, simply store in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate.
Time to Grill! For the Crostini and Final Assembly
- Warm the Duck: Heat the duck, along with plenty of duck fat to keep it moist, in a crockpot.
- Toast the Bread: Using a couple of French baguettes, slice the bread into about ¼” slices. On your preheated ChuckWagon premium 5 burner Summerset Grill, put some duck fat in a baking pan with a couple of smashed cloves of garlic and warm to create a great aroma. Take the slices of bread, dip each side in the warmed duck fat and place on the grill (on low heat) for toasting. As one side starts to turn golden and crispy (roughly 2-3 minutes), flip the bread to toast the other side (another 2-3 minutes).
- Assembly: Lay the toasty bread out on a serving tray and top each piece with some of the heated duck, 2 macerated cherries, 1-2 pieces of pickled red onion, and a piece of fresh arugula. Sprinkle with some finishing salt.
- Serve: Set the tray out, announce the dish, and sit back and watch their faces turn from looks of skepticism, as they bring that first bite to their mouth, to expressions of surprise and delight as this dish hits their pallet. Don’t sit back too long those…these will disappear fast, so you will want to be working on round 2!