Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Turkey Leg Confit
Turkey leg confit.

You see here a pan of turkey leg confit: turkey legs cured for a day in a dry rub of salt and spices, then slow-cooked for several hours in an ocean of schmaltz. [You can find the recipe here.] Conveniently enough, I had a whole mess of duck and goose schmaltz sitting in the freezer for just such an occasion.

Turkey, duck, and goose. Kind of like a turducken, but without the necessity of jamming one bird inside the next to create a poultrified Matruschka doll. Instead, you have turkey legs buried in solidified Bird-Grease like some woolly mammoth in the La Brea Tar Pits.

Mmmmm, Bird-Grease.

When it comes time to eat this stuff, I’ll warm it up enough to melt the legs out of the sea of congealed fat in which they are embedded, then roast ’em at 500°F for about 20 minutes. They’ll get nice and crispy, yet they’ll still be succulent owing to that long, schmaltz-ridden visit to Mr. Oven. The flesh, carefully dissected from the bones and cartilage, makes a great addition to Boston baked beans - a kind of Yankee Cassoulet. It can give a meaty punch to a salad...and I’ll bet it kicks ass rolled up in a taco.

Don’t even think about how many calories are in each one of those legs.

Best yet: I get to save the schmaltz and use it again! Pommes sarladaise, anyone?

Update: I just removed one of those legs from its bed o’ Ducky-Goose Grease in a maneuver reminiscent of when Han Solo was extracted from that slab of carbonite in Return of the Jedi. Return of the Turki?

The shredded meat made a fine Turkey Leg Confit Salad when placed atop a pile of mixed lettuces and dressed with a hazelnut-shallot vinaigrette...almost obscenely tasty.

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