I love Chicken and Waffles… I also LOVE duck confit. When I was trapped in a hotel room at MasterChef, I dreamed up the combination of the two… Duck Confit and Waffles. I thought an orange maple butter would go nice on a wild rice waffle and a cherry chipotle sauce would accent everything nicely.
For the next couple of weeks I worked on a way to make duck confit in less than two hours. If I could pull it off this would be a course in my menu of the MasterChef Finals. I took two techniques into consideration: Sous Vide and Pressure cooking.
The benefit of duck confit en sous vide, is that you onle need a few tablespoons of duck fat instead of filling an entire pot. Pressure cooking cuts cook times by nearly a two thirds. So for weeks I bought duck hind quarters from Whole Foods on our grocery runs. I sealed them with duck fat in the hotel room and dropped them into a pressure cooker with water. Time after time, the vacuum bag exploded resulting in boiled duck…
It wasn’t until after I got home that the idea to re-inforce the vacuum bag struck me. Wrap the vacuum bag in foil to strengthen the confit assembly… BRILLIANT!
The reinforced vacuum bag combined with the time saving pressure cooker are a complete game changer. Add to the equation the induction burner that Fagor sent me… (another HUGE time saver and the neatest gadget I’ve had in my kitchen since my first circulator) Induction cooking heats the cooking vessel itself rather than a coil or burner. It uses 50% less energy and heats much faster than gas or electric. If you’re designing a kitchen, spend the money and get an induction cooktop. If you’re like me (in an apartment) buy a single burner portable induction burner… saves time and energy!
Yesterday, I completed the full recipe with acceptable results. Not 100% perfect but you could serve this to any guest in your home and blow their minds! Here are the preliminary results.
For the Duck:
2 Duck hind quarters (legs & thighs)
2 Sprigs Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
3 tblspn rendered duck fat
wrap tightly. Cover with water in pressure cooker and cook for 90 minutes on high pressure.
1 Stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
Zest of 1 large orange
45g Dark Amber Maple Syrup
Mix all ingredients, roll in plastic wrap, reserve in freezer.
For the Cherry Chipotle Sauce:
26g dried cherries
250g Red Wine (Shiraz or similar)
3 finger pinch chipotle chili powder
3 finger pinch ancho chili powder.
Cook over medium heat until cherries are completely rehydrated and liquid is reduced by half. Blend with hand blender and pass through fine mesh strainer. Return strained mix to medium head and reduce to honey consistancy.
127g Wild Rice Mix
1 tblspn Duck Fat
In a pressure cooker over medium heat: toast rice in duck fat until it gives a nutty aroma. Add water and salt.
For the waffle-
Same EXACT waffle recipe/technique here
In waffle iron, place a teaspoon of wild rice, top with waffle batter, and add one more teaspoon of wild rice on top, cook until crisp (time depends on your waffle iron)
Use a medium sized ring mold to punch rounds out of each waffle. Stack: Waffle, Orange-Maple Butter, Shredded Duck… x3. Drizzle cherry chipotle sauce, and top with strips of crisp duck skin. Serve: Blow Your Guest’s minds!