Buttery Black Cod & Veggies

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies! Super yummy low carb meal that's packed with nutrients! This meal is BFF Diet, Paleo, AIP, Ketogenic, & Traditional Foods friendly! Click through for recipe!

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies is a perfect BFF diet approved meal! It is so easy to feel discouraged at the fish counter these days. Concerns over mercury, high prices, sustainability and freshness can make it easy to just wheel your shopping cart past without a second look. However, the health benefits that come from eating fish are too big to pass up and it is so worth the effort to make fish a regular part of your diet. High levels of DHA and EPA, the omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and nourish our brains, are found in fish and other seafoods.

 

Black cod, along with many other types of fish contain high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals like selenium, which can protect us from the harmful effects of mercury. Gut health also has an important role to play in protecting us from the mercury that we consume along with our fish dinners, so remember those probiotics.

 

To pick fish the Revivalist Kitchen way, make sure that you purchase from a reputable supplier you trust and opt for local, wild caught fish low in the food chain. It’s the large predatory fish, like tuna, that have the highest levels of mercury. Big fish like tuna and swordfish should be eaten in moderation while itty-bitty sardines can be eaten with abandon.

 

As far as sustainability goes, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a great little chart that you can print out for your reference to bring along when you shop. While we consider sardines a BFF Diet superstar food, the humble little fish are not always gonna cut it and that is when some of our other favorites, like a tasty filet of buttery rich black cod, gets to step up and shine.

 

Black cod is not actually a member of the cod family at all and can also be called sablefish. There is also a Hawaiian preparation of miso glazed black cod that is called butterfish, but be sure that if you see butterfish on the menu you know exactly what you are getting. Escolar can also be called butterfish, or white tuna, and that is not a BFF Diet approved fish, as it can cause some very unpleasant digestive side effects. So now that you know what you are looking for, go check your market and see if you can buy yourself a nice piece of black cod. A fresh piece of fish and a few veggies are all it takes to make a tasty, nourishing dinner that is ready in a snap. Make this buttery black cod & veggies a complete BFF meal by adding a spoonful of kraut on the side and enjoy with a mug of nourishing bone broth.

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies! Super yummy low carb meal that's packed with nutrients! This meal is BFF Diet, Paleo, AIP, Ketogenic, & Traditional Foods friendly! Click through for recipe!

12oz black cod filet, cut into 4 equal size pieces
1/2 C sliced shiitake mushroom
1/4 C butter
Sea salt to taste
1 sliced red bell pepper
1 large bunch baby broccoli, approx 8oz
1 yellow onion
1 large juicy lemon

Prepare your vegetables by chopping the onion, bell pepper and broccolini into even bite-sized pieces. Heat two heavy wide bottomed pans over medium-high heat.

Wipe down the shiitake mushrooms, cut off the woody stems and slice. Add the mushrooms to one pan along with the butter, reserving about one tablespoon. Add the veggies and the remaining butter to the other pan, along with a sprinkle of salt, we use about 1/2tsp.

Move the mushrooms to the outer perimeter of the pan and add the black cod, skin side up. Allow the fish to cook for 3 minutes and then flip the fish over so the skin side is down.

Stir the veggies in the other pan and check for doneness.

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies! Super yummy low carb meal that's packed with nutrients! This meal is BFF Diet, Paleo, AIP, Ketogenic, & Traditional Foods friendly! Click through for recipe!

Using a long handled spoon if you have one, or a short handled one and a pot holder baste the mushrooms and butter over the fish by gently tilting up the pan and scooping the liquid over the fish. The mushrooms should begin to look golden brown and the fish should have crispy skin after 8-10 minutes, while the vegetables in the other pan should be cooked.

Turn off the heat on the pan with the vegetables when they are done and reserve. Depending on the thickness, the fish may be cooked through at this point or it may need a few more minutes. If the fish needs a little longer you can flip it over one more time and continue the cooking process for 3-5 more minutes.

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies! Super yummy low carb meal that's packed with nutrients! This meal is BFF Diet, Paleo, AIP, Ketogenic, & Traditional Foods friendly! Click through for recipe!

To serve pile the vegetables in the center of your plate, top with a piece of fish seasoned with a generous squeeze of lemon and healthy pinch of your favorite sea salt. There will be one line of medium sized bones running down the center of the fish filet that are very easy to remove from the cooked fish, so you may want to warn your fellow diners. Unlike fish with hazardous tiny bones, these are really easy to avoid eating, so I don’t bother to bust out the tweezers to debone ahead of time.

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies! Super yummy low carb meal that's packed with nutrients! This meal is BFF Diet, Paleo, AIP, Ketogenic, & Traditional Foods friendly! Click through for recipe!

©Revivalist Kitchen 2016. All rights reserved.

Buttery Black Cod & Veggies! Super yummy low carb meal that's packed with nutrients! This meal is BFF Diet, Paleo, AIP, Ketogenic, & Traditional Foods friendly! Click through for recipe!

Got any questions? Wanna tell us how your butter black cod & veggies turned out? Well we wanna here from you! Leave a comment or question below!

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Lamb Meatball Zoodles

Lamb Meatball Zoodles 

Lamb Meatball Zoodles are a great low carb meal, full of healthy fats, and a probiotic kick! This meal is BFF diet, Traditional foods, & ketogenic friendly ! Click through to get recipe!

The first time I ever heard of a spiralizer, aka a “zoodler” (as Octavia calls it), I pretty much dropped everything I was doing and burned rubber to my nearest Sur La Table to get one for myself. While we are never gonna fool anyone into thinking they are eating pasta instead of zucchini ribbons, zoodles are as fun to eat as they are too say. Plus they are grain free and super low carb. This recipe for lamb meatballs with cucumber-yogurt sauce and zoodles was well loved by my clients who ate real pasta on the regular, as well as those who live a more BFF Diet friendly lifestyle. Lamb is a great meat option as it is often 100% grass-fed and it breaks up the beef-chicken rut that is so easy to fall into. In general, ground meat is an inexpensive source of protein plus with the fat ground in, it’s a great way to get it in for those of us who squirm at the idea of chewing up pieces of fatty meat.  With the fresh herbs and cool yogurt sauce, this dish is a wonderful introduction both to lamb and the joys of the “zoodler”. Enjoy this meal with a mug of bone broth and you’ve got yourself a complete BFF meal.

Lamb Meatball Zoodles are a great low carb meal, full of healthy fats, and a probiotic kick! This meal is BFF diet, Traditional foods, & ketogenic friendly ! Click through to get recipe!

Lamb Meatball Zoodles Recipe

1 bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
1 large cucumber
4 zucchini
1.5lbs ground grass-fed lamb
1 lemon
1 T salt divided
1 cup plain yogurt (we like Strauss Greek yogurt)
3 cloves of garlic
Splash of olive oil, ghee or lard to cook meatballs
1/4C water

Lamb Meatball Zoodles are a great low carb meal, full of healthy fats, and a probiotic kick! This meal is BFF diet, Traditional foods, & ketogenic friendly ! Click through to get recipe!

Start by making the cucumber sauce first so the flavors can mix. A thick yogurt is great here as the cucumber releases water and thins it out. Peel the cucumber if it has been waxed and dice, discarding the seeds if they are large and woody. Add diced cucumber, 1 tsp. salt, 1T of the chopped mint and half of the chopped dill to the yogurt. Peel garlic cloves and using a microplane grate 2 cloves of the raw garlic into the yogurt. Zest the lemon and reserve for the meatballs and juice the rest. Strain the lemon juice and add to the yogurt mixture. Taste yogurt for salt and refrigerate until needed.

 

Next make your lamb mixture. In a large bowl combine the remaining chopped herbs, lemon zest, salt and lamb. Using the microplane again, grate the remaining garlic into the bowl with the lamb and mix with your very clean hands until well combined. (Or use a big spoon if you prefer). These meatballs are best made on the smallish side, as they fall apart when cooking if they are too big, about 1oz each is perfect. That said what is most important here is that whatever size you choose, try to make them all about the same so they cook evenly. Once you have your meatballs made you can pop them in the fridge to rest while you prep your zoodles.
To make zoodles use your spiralizer according to it’s directions. Or, if you don’t have a spiralizer, just thinly slice whole zucchini lengthwise to make more of a zucchini pappardelle. Prep all your zoodles, as the meatballs need a little attention while they cook and once you start it all moves kinda fast.

 

To finish up heat a large pan over medium-high heat, add in your meatballs and frying oil. Allow the meatballs to cook on each side until brown. Don’t rush moving them around too much, you want each side to get a nice brown crust. A really firm shake of the pan will get them moving around when they have begun to brown, carefully scraping up any that may choose to stick. Continue to cook the meatballs until they are brown and gorgeous on all sides, then remove from the pan and reserve.

 

Add a little fresh filtered water to the pan you cooked the meatballs in, just enough to coat the bottom and scrape up all the tasty browned meatball shrapnel left behind. Add in your zoodles and season with a sprinkle of salt. The zoodles will steam-saute in around 3 minutes and they need to be served right away. Cook your zoodles until they are just soft, as they very easily can turn to mush. The meatballs make great leftovers, but the zoodles not so much and they are best cooked to order. The yogurt sauce is good for a couple of days but it gets watery fast. To serve, pile up the meatballs on top of the zoodles alongside a healthy amount of the refreshing yogurt sauce for dipping.

 

Lamb Meatball Zoodles are a great low carb meal, full of healthy fats, and a probiotic kick! This meal is BFF diet, Traditional foods, & ketogenic friendly ! Click through to get recipe!

Lamb Meatball Zoodles are a great low carb meal, full of healthy fats, and a probiotic kick! This meal is BFF diet, Traditional foods, & ketogenic friendly ! Click through to get recipe!

©Revivalist Kitchen 2016. All rights reserved.

Revivalist Kitchen’s Christmas Cassoulet

Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder

Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder

 

There is a pink pepper tree on my dear friend Sarah’s back porch. The few hours I have spent picking and sorting the peppercorns from the twigs and leaves have been well worth the effort, as this little pepper freak can’t get enough of the stuff. I like to grind the peppercorns in the food processor and save it in a little jar to have on hand for when pork shoulder goes on sale.

 

Pork shoulder, pork butt, or picnic cut is what I’m talking about. This cut of meat is tasty and takes to this slow cooking method in the same way it takes to the pink peppercorn rub.

Delicious Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder made with bone broth! AIP, GAPS Diet, & Paleo friendly meal. By Revivalist Kitchen!

I suggest you make extras, as the leftovers are worthy of the recipe itself. It takes a little time but most of it is hands off. If you buy a nice fatty cut you will end up with a good amount of rendered creamy lard that will solidify as it cools and can be reserved and used to sauté up some veggies at other time or can be used to schmear on some sourdough bread.

 

Delicious Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder made with bone broth! AIP, GAPS Diet, & Paleo friendly meal. By Revivalist Kitchen!

Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder

3lb piece of pork shoulder, nice and fatty

1/4 C pink peppercorns, ground

3T sea salt

2 cups chicken bone broth

5 bay leaves

BFF diet free resource library

 

Mix the sea salt and the pink peppercorns together and rub over pork shoulder. Ideally this can be done the night before you intend to cook the pork but if time is of the essence rub the shoulder and let it rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 325°.

 

In a casserole dish just large enough to snugly hold the pork, add the shoulder, the broth and the bay leaves. This is not a braise in a sense that the pork should be swimming in broth, so if only a cup of the broth fits in your pan use that and top it up as it cooks.

Cook the pork for 2-2.5 hours at 325, turning the roast every 30 minutes. This allows it to evenly brown and results in a super juicy cut of meat.

 

When fully cooked the roast will be tender but not falling apart, resulting in a sliceable roast. The broth will reduce a little as it cooks but ideally allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and further reduce broth until desired consistency: I like it on the thinner side but you can bring it all the way down into a syrupy glaze. Taste before adding any additional salt, as the salt from the roast has seasoned the broth.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

 

Delicious Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder made with bone broth! AIP, GAPS Diet, & Paleo friendly meal. By Revivalist Kitchen!

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Buttery Bagna Cauda

Buttery Bagna Cauda

Anchovies get a bad rap but one bite of the salty, buttery bagna cauda could convert even the most die hard of anchovy haters. In essence bagna cauda is melted butter with anchovy and garlic, in execution bagna cauda is a sexy dip for bread and vegetables that takes crudite to the next level. The anchovy here is noticeable as in it provides a bold flavor without being super fishy or off putting.

Just try it before you knock it, okay. This recipe is also the perfect excuse to use that dusty old fondue pot you have kicking around, as it needs to be served and kept warm, otherwise your butter will congeal and you will go from warm bath to goopy mess in minutes.

We served this lovely appetizer at our Revivalist Kitchen Harvest Dinner! You can read all about that amazing meal here.

Buttery Bagna Cauda

Buttery Bagna Cauda

12 anchovy filets (splurge and go for the fancy ones jarred in oil), drained and chopped

1 whole block of salted grass-fed butter, 4 sticks= 1 pound (do not skimp on quantity or quality)

Zest of a lemon

Juice of a lemon

Chopped parsley to serve

8 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Buttery Bagna Cauda

 

Melt the butter in a saucepan, drain and chop the anchovy, peel and chop the garlic (removing the crusty ends and any green sprouts) and add to the melted butter. Zest the lemon add to the mixture and squeeze in the lemon juice carefully so none of the nasty bitter seeds fall in (one of my ultimate culinary pet peeves is getting a citrus seed in my mouth). Over low heat allow the mixture to cook for 10 minutes, or until the garlic has softened and all the flavors have combined. Transfer to a warmed fondue pot and serve over a flame to keep warm. Soft sourdough bread and crisp raw vegetables make the perfect accompaniment.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

BFF diet free resource library

 

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Green Beans with Shallot

Green Beans with Shallot

Forget green bean casserole. Simple is king in the Revivalist Kitchen and our favorite way of serving green beans is blanched until crisp and green then finished in brown butter with shallots. Delicious and pretty, these beans are a worthy co-star to even the fanciest of dinners. Including our amazing Harvest Dinner! Read all about that lovely meal here!

 

Green Beans with Shallot

Green Beans with Shallot

2 lbs fresh green beans

Large pot of boiling water, seasoned with enough sea salt so it tastes like the ocean around 1/4 cup

1 stick of butter

1 shallot, diced

Sea salt

Wedge of lemon

 

Bring water up to a boil in a large pot and add salt. If your pot is on the smaller side blanch in batches, if too many beans are added all at once the temperature of the water will be brought down so low that by the time the water begins to re-boil the beans will over cook and lose their color.

 

The salt is important as it is absorbed into the vegetables and really brings up their natural flavor in a way salt added after cooking can never do. Add green beans and allow water to come up to a boil again and after two minutes you will see the beans become very bright green. Remove the beans from the water and shock them in a large bowl of ice water to set their green color. Drain the beans once cool and reserve.

 

Before serving, warm a large pan over medium high heat. Add the butter and cook until the butter smells nutty and the milk solids begin to turn brown. Do not let the butter blacken; we are looking for a dark nut brown here. Add the shallots, the beans and a big squeeze of lemon. Add your salt and cook until the beans are warmed though but still retain some crunch.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

BFF diet free resource library

Keep on cooking!…Click through below for more real food recipes!

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Harvest Dinner

Harvest Dinner

Fall is a beautiful time of year, even in LA we see the leaves changing as the weather begins to cool. Relaxing with friends over a good meal, this time of year is filled with amazing sunsets, gratitude and celebration for the progress the year has made. This being Revivalist Kitchen”s first holiday season we wanted to do up a very a special, intimate, harvest dinner to celebrate our dear friends, our good health and the bonds we have created this last year. The table was set in our beautiful, lush, back yard and our friends made their way over to enjoy the fruits of our labors. We broke out the crystal and place cards! And the weather was perfect, a warm early fall evening, not a late summer scorcher as we so often get in Los Angeles.

Harvest Dinner, a non-traditional take on Thanksgiving. Featuring Duck Confit, celery root puree, fermented chutney & delicious sides by Revivalist Kitchen.

 

Since it’s usually just the two of us, every year my husband and I usually make a Peking duck for two, and even roll out homemade pancakes. To celebrate the joint venture that is Revivalist Kitchen, we wanted to usher in our first year on the block by opening up our home to friends: some old and some new.

Harvest Dinner, a non-traditional take on Thanksgiving. Featuring Duck Confit, celery root puree, fermented chutney & delicious sides by Revivalist Kitchen.

It was Erin’s idea to serve duck confit, instead of a traditional turkey. A nice compromise with the Peking duck of the past and with traditional confit style duck being one of my favorite dishes I was totally on board. Plus, it was a recipe I definitely wanted to try to make on my own and have in back pocket. Turns out it isn’t so hard to make! Woot! Woot! Just takes a few steps of simple preparation over a few days with a truly spectacular result. We bought our duck meat and duck fat from our favorite local butcher McCall’s Meat & Fish. Find recipe for duck confit here.

Harvest Dinner, a non-traditional take on Thanksgiving. Featuring Duck Confit, celery root puree, fermented chutney & delicious sides by Revivalist Kitchen.

For the side dishes we decided on sautéed mushrooms, green beans with shallots, celery root puree, and a beautiful fermented pear and currant chutney to accompany the duck. The pear chutney turned out to be my favorite part of the meal and I’m still using it on many other types of meat. This probiotic recipe is an American take on the chutneys of India and the mostarda of Italy, appropriate at a time where we reflect on the multicultural influences that make our country so great. Find the Pear Chutney recipe here. Recipes for sautéed mushrooms, green beans with shallots, and celery root puree.

 

We welcomed our guests to our harvest dinner with a beautiful, fermented, apple daiquiri. This is a traditional daiquiri, not the blended, sugary, drink, garnished with an umbrella you be thinking of. (however I suspect Erin would have stuck an umbrella in it if I had busted some out).  The classic daiquiri was first invented during the late 19th century imperialism in a Cuban mining town. It was a bartender at, Havana’s La Floridita that came up the frozen creation that we all know today, with Mr. Ernest Hemmingway being a big fan, Our take on the daiquiri featured a local, organic rum and we toasted our friends over snacks and introductions. Find the apple daiquiri recipe here.

Wine3-1

 

 

Erin made a lovely bagna cauda, which means warm bath in Italian and it bathed us all in glorious, melted anchovy butter. We served that with crudité and sourdough bread, and as we enjoyed a raw cheese plate and finished our cocktails we began to open our wine and fill ourglasses. Revivalist Kitchen firmly believes that a healthy life can include a few indulgences and this harvest dinner was the perfect time to treat our loved ones and also treat ourselves. Find recipe for bagna cauda here.

Harvest Dinner, a non-traditional take on Thanksgiving. Featuring Duck Confit, celery root puree, fermented chutney & delicious sides by Revivalist Kitchen.

The sweet that finished this lovely meal was a delicious, pumpkin, custard that Erin whipped up. A delicious end to a lovely evening. Find pumkin custard recipe here.

We are so grateful for the future of Revivalist Kitchen and we drifted off to sleep with full bellies and warm hearts, thankful for the time spent with those we love.

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipes turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!


BFF diet free resource library
Keep on cooking!…Click through below for more real food recipes!

Delicious Pink Peppercorn Pork Shoulder made with bone broth! AIP, GAPS Diet, & Paleo friendly meal. By Revivalist Kitchen!

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Cassulet

Beef Bone Broth

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Kimchi

Kimchi

Sautéed Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms and I have enjoyed a whirlwind love affair that has simmered down into a warm fuzzy appreciation. As a kid I would not touch a mushroom for money and the idea of consuming a fungus on purpose completely grossed me out. Times have changed and it was a creamy mushroom pasta that first helped me leave my childhood mushroom hating foolishness in the past, mushroom pizza’s inspired the first flickers of a crush and it was perfectly sautéed mushrooms over a steak that finally ignited my obsession.

 

Now I eat mushrooms pretty much every day, mainly the humble brown cremini. I like them all different ways in soups, as side dishes and in sauces. You will never see me pass up an opportunity up to peruse the mushroom stand at the farmers market. Foraging for my own mushrooms is a dream that I hope to pursue as soon as I find a willing guide, but for now I must be content just to enjoy cooking, eating and sharing the shroomy love.

 

I eat mushrooms because, they taste awesome, but they are also super nutritious! Not only are mushrooms powerful antioxidants they are loaded with selenium, folate and vitamin D. Mushrooms are the perfect assistant to our bodies way of repairing itself: nourishing our cells, DNA and liver. Depending on the variety, certain mushrooms are recognized for powerful medicinal properties, but like anything with the power to heal, mushrooms also have the power to hurt: so never eat a mushroom you are not sure is safe. That said, fall is a great time to dive into the land of cultivated and wild mushrooms and this easy recipe will be an elegant side dish for your holiday meal. We served these delicious sautéed mushrooms with our Revivalist Kitchen Harvest Dinner. Read all about that lovely meal here!

Ingredients

2 pounds assorted mushrooms of your choice: I used 1.5 lbs of cremini, bunashimeji also know as brown beech and king oyster mushrooms

6 Tablespoons butter

1 tsp sea salt

Chopped parsley or chives for garnish

Octavia Klein Photography

 

Wipe the cremini mushrooms off with a damp towel and trim the stems. Cut the base off the bunch of bunashimejis to free them from the clump they are usually sold in and trim the bottom cut end of the king oysters. Cut the cremini’s into even sized wedges, depending on the size quarters or sixths usually works for me. Rough chop the bunashimejis and slice the king oysters.

 

Warm a large saute pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the cremini mushrooms first, then the butter & salt and allow to cook, stirring occasionally. To get a nice brown crust on the mushrooms they need to be cooked in one layer in a pan large enough so they are not over crowded. Mushrooms contain a lot of moisture and you want to let the moisture be released and evaporate. Once the creminis have began to color add the other mushrooms and sauté until brown, about 5-8 minutes. Top with herbs to serve.

 

© Copyright 2015 Revivalist Kitchen. All rights reserved.

How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

BFF diet free resource library

 

Keep on cooking!…Click through below for more real food recipes!

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Kefir Ice-Cream

Mmmm Chicken Soup

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Duck Confit

Duck Confit

Octavia Klein Photography

Eating duck for the first time was not the most memorable experience of my culinary life, while eating duck confit for the first time will forever be seared into my brain. It was, Walter Manske’s, duck confit at Church & State that did me in. I was a server there and had the good fortune of being handed the remnants of a crispy golden duck leg by another server, to wolf down as we stood near the dish tank, hovering over the garbage cans. Holy cow, that duck was good.

 

Next time I had duck confit, I actually ate it off a plate and the crispy outside and meltingly tender inside was accompanied by a chutney like fruit sauce. It took a good duck confit for me to get duck. Never being blown away with duck breast, I have had duck dishes other than confit that I enjoyed: chef Ericka Lins formerly of Campanile, makes a wicked duck meatball, the duck pancakes at Chi Dynasty in Los Feliz are tasty other than that I don’t really go out of my way to make, buy or order duck. The exception is duck confit for me, and the duck confit recipe from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers has become my most beloved holiday meal.

 

Including this Thanksgiving I have made the entire traditional holiday meal for one of the wonderful families I have cooked for, five years running. That is a lot of turkey and I think I’m just kinda over serving turkey as a festive holiday feast for my family meals, so I have decided to bring on the duck confit! Don’t get me wrong, I like turkey and one of my favorite guilty pleasures, other than bean burritos on a soft flour tortilla, is a post Thanksgiving turkey sandwich: white meat, white bread, mayo, salt & pepper. This year Revivalist Kitchen hosted a Harvest Dinner, non-traditional take on Thanksgiving! Read all about what we served up up here.

 

I cook turkey on a regular basis for many clients and while my husband and I will eat turkey, rarely do I go out of my way to cook or eat it (collard green turkey enchiladas being a firm exception). The bonus here is the duck confit can be mostly prepared well ahead of time and only needs to be finished by warming & crisping up in a pan. The leftovers can be kept refrigerated submerged in cooking fat for long periods of time and that fat is a wonderful medium to roast & sauté other meats and vegetables. Leftover duck confit is a delicious Real Food answer to my appallingly pale colored turkey sandwiches of the past but I suspect this recipe is so good; there won’t be too many leftovers to speak of.

 

One of the best lunches of my life was with my then finance now husband Andrew at Zuni Cafe on a rainy San Francisco afternoon. We ate roast chicken and drank Burgundy and it was soul satisfyingly good eats. I have never had duck confit at Zuni Cafe but the recipe in Judy Rodgers life changing cook book is about as perfect as a recipe can get. This book was suggested to me as I was being rung up at a used bookstore in Hollywood by now obviously brilliant guy working the register. He saw my hodgepodge of books: a paperback filled with traditional Greek recipes, a banged up copy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison, and something by Alice Waters. The clerk at the bookstore grabbed the copy of the Zuni Cafe Cookbook that just happened to be within his arms reach and he said that I just had to get it. He sold me on the book long before I had heard of the legendary Zuni Cafe or the now departed Judy Rodgers, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2013.

 

Buying that book both simplified and elevated my cooking in a major way and I am very grateful to that dude for being a really great bookstore employee. I am also grateful to Judy Rodgers for writing her book, as I love what she shares, how she talks about her process of recipe development and how she tells her story. The best advice on properly seasoning and salting protein I have ever read came from that book and I was shocked to learn how much of a difference proper salting techniques can make in all dishes, not just confits and cures. So with deep respect to Judy Rodgers, here is her perfect recipe for duck confit. Her instructions are wonderful and I have paraphrased them here. I highly suggest you go out and buy or borrow a copy of this wonderful book and look at the full Zuni recipe for duck confit, as well as enjoy all the other cool ideas.

 

Duck Confit a la Judy for a party of 8

12 duck legs, approx ¾-1lb each preferably from McCall’s Meat & Fish if you live in SoCal

2 large 3.5lb buckets of duck fat

9T of salt: I used a combination of maldon flake and fine sea salt

 

This recipe clearly makes duck for a crowd: it can be scaled back following a ratio of 2tsp of salt per pound of duck legs and around 2 cups of fat per pound of meat. Duck fat is expensive so I try to buy the minimum amount I need just to cover all the duck legs.

 

Start this recipe at least two days before you want to serve it, but three is even better. Weigh duck legs and measure out salt. Trim any lose bits from the duck and pull out any feathers that may remain in the skin. Sprinkle the salt over the duck legs and massage in. Lay duck in one even layer and cover with plastic wrap (not foil as the salt can corrode aluminum, even in 24 hours.)

After 24 hours rinse salt off duck legs and gently massage the legs. Cut a slice of meat off the duck and fry it up in a little oil to test for salt. It should be salty but not crazy, crazy, salty. If it’s super gross salty rinse the duck legs again and repeat the test. Allow the meat to rest for another 24 hours to redistribute the salt.

To cook the duck, melt the fat in two large dutch ovens or sauce pans, add the duck legs and bring up to a simmer. I used my thermometer and tried to keep the heat around 200 degrees F, for an hour and a half. I was able to do that by having the burners on their lowest setting with the pots pushed all the way against the back of my stove versus directly over the center of the burner. The cooking is pretty much hands off, I stick my tongs to the bottom of the pot a few times to make sure nothing was stuck and potentially scorching and I push down a few stray legs that wanted to pop up out of the fat but otherwise I let the fat gently simmer and cook the meat until it was soft but not fall off the bone tender. You can also do the cooking in a crockpot, on the lowest setting for six hours, pull out early if meat starts to fall off the bone. Turn off the burners or crockpot and allow the meat to cool in the fat, then store in the fridge until ready to serve.

One hour before cooking the duck legs remove them from the fridge and let them get to room temperature. It works best to brown the duck in a medium not giant frying pan, around two to three at a time. Just make sure it’s one even layer and they don’t crowd each other. Pre-heat the oven to 220 to keep the duck warm as you finish the batches and turn the frying pan or pans up to medium high heat. Once the pan is heated pull your duck out of the fat and place directly into the hot pan, skin side down and allow to cook around 5-8 minutes. VERY CAREFULLY, using tongs and a spatula try to ease the duck up without damaging the skin and flip it over and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. If the duck skin resists, allow it to cook longer. Be very careful, the duck fat is hot grease it will spit and spatter a lot during cooking. The duck skin should be a burnished golden color with a crispy crust. Finish browning the rest of the duck and keep crisp duck warm in the oven until serving.

Leftover duck confit can be shredded and mixed with cooking fat and spices for a beautiful rillette, shredded as a wonderful addition to tacos or salads.

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How did the recipe turn out? Got any questions? Leave a comment below!

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