Sunday, March 24, 2013

Confit de Canard du Souq or Moroccan duck legs

Piper Longum - one rare ingredient in my Moroccan duck. Photo: Lemmikkipuu
Yesterday I made another duck confit. This time I substituted (or added to the) salt and pepper with some very different Moroccan spices and ingredients thus the name; Confit de canard de Souq, from the bazaars.   
Ras el Hanout. Photo: Sarefo
I have described how to make a duck confit earlier, so here I will talk about the seasoning. I wanted to make duck legs with a distinct and exotic taste. What could be better than picking some of the spices I have brought back from my travels.
Red paprika powder. Photo: Bandagnani
For heat I took out piper longum or long pepper, a very spicy variety of pepper known to Europeans as far back as ancient Greece. It is very hot, and the grains are up to 1 cm (1/2 inch) long. It is a very rare ingredient and I aqcuired it at Izrael, the extraordinary spice shop in Marais in Paris.  
Dried figs. Photo: Rich Smith
I pounded the pepperkorns with salt in my large morter and I sprinkled on the duck legs.
Then I added ras el hanout, a blend of spices from North Africa bought in the souqs of Marrakech made from cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chili peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric.
The last seasoning on my Moroccan duck was also purchased in the souq, smokey red paprika powder. To add to the Moroccan theme I placed chalottes and dried figs from the bazaars in the oven proof dish. The idea was that the dried fruit would soak up the juices from the duck. 
I also drizzled a little honey over the duck legs to create balance, and allowed them to bake for 8 hours on 100 degrees Celsius (215F). By then onions and fics had taken up the aromas of the duck and the seasoning. Just like the many of the tagines served in Morocco combining savoury and sweet ingedients, I had succeeded in creating a touch of Morocco for my guests. 
More duck confit and duck dishes 

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