Julia Child would have been 100 years old today. Her inspiration in the kitchen cannot be underestimated. As I think of how much fun it is to watch and learn from the original “iron (lady) chef,” I’m reminded of various dishes I’ve had recently that were spectacular—ones SHE might have enjoyed, too.
This dish was served at a special event at SeaWorld Orlando recently at Ports of Call. Duck Confit over Wild Mushroom Grits. The Executive Chef, Hector Colon, was kind enough to share!
Here are the recipes:
4 lbs duck legs
1 tbsp kosher salt
.5 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 whole garlic cloves*
4 bay leaves*
4 sprigs fresh thyme*
1.5 teaspoons whole black peppercorn
.5 teaspoon table salt
4 cups olive oil
*for each leg portion
Lay 2 leg portions on a platter, skin side down. Sprinkle on the 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ground pepper. Place the garlic, bay leaf and thyme on each of leg portion. Lay the remaining 2 leg portions flesh to flesh on top. Put reserved fat from the duck** in the bottom of container. Sprinkle with the remaining kosher salt cover and refrigerated for 12 hours.
**Note from SWM: If you haven’t prepared the duck, you can buy duck fat at your local butcher shop. BTW, it’s amazing rubbed on potatoes in the oven….
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
Remove duck from pan. In a hot sauté pan sear the duck until golden brown then place back in the pan with all the spices and cover with olive oil and bake for 12 to 14 hours.
Cool down and pull the meat from the leg and sauté as desired.
Wild Mushroom Grits, Serves 4
3 slices raw bacon
10 medium-sized shiitake mushroom, sliced
10 medium-sized bottom mushroom, sliced
.25 tsp chopped rosemary
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
4 tbsp white wine
1 cup grits
2 cups milk whole
6 oz chicken stock
6 oz heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
Salt and white pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan add bacon cook until crispy. Add butter and condiments, plus all the sliced mushrooms and cook until tender.
Add cream, milk and stock. Bring to a boil. Add grits and cook on low heat until tender, adjust flavor using salt and white pepper.
While Executive Chef Hector Colon may not have been channeling Ms Child, his Duck Confit over Wild Mushroom Grits is one of the tastiest things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It makes me drool to think of it, even now, just as I often do reading over Julia’s recipes. Did you #cookforjulia today?
Note: This recipe is reminiscent of her “goose confit,” though I am a simple home chef, so feel free to contradict.