by Jess M
My husband and I had duck nachos for the first time a couple of years ago when we were out for our anniversary at Monocacy Crossing. All of our food was delicious, but the duck nachos really stuck out as over-the-top good, and also they were something we had never even thought we could make at home.
Not too long after that, I saw that a cooking class on pub food was being offered at The Kitchen Studio, a fantastic place in Frederick, Maryland to take classes to learn new techniques or recipes. And on the menu for that class was duck nachos. Our instructor, Carla, showed us how to cook a simple duck confit and assemble some delicious (and easy!) nachos.
Since taking the class I've made the duck nachos a couple of times at home. My Wegmans grocery store carries whole ducks, as well as various duck pieces. You can buy a confit leg/thigh piece cooked and packaged, but it is pretty pricey, and is quite a small amount of meat. So if you're going to the duck section you might as well go for the whole thing. The duck that I bought was about $30, which for us, is a special occasion meal.
First, you have to cut apart the duck. It's just like cutting apart a raw chicken, it's a little bigger and the skin and fat layer is really thick. I cut the duck into the leg/thigh pieces, wings, and breasts. Duck confit seems to only consist of the legs, but I cooked the whole duck the same way.Arrange the pieces in a high-sided dish, prick the skin all over and sprinkle with salt. Then cover the duck with oil or duck fat. I really wanted to be able to save and reuse the duck fat so the first time I bought a container (about $6) so that it would be all duck fat and not a mix of duck and oil. After it was cooked I strained and saved the rendered fat in a jar.
Cook the duck in a 350 degree oven for 90 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the duck rest for about 15 minutes.
Cut apart and shred the meat.
Duck Nachos, This recipe from Emeril is very similar to the way that I made our nachos.
Easy Duck Confit on Simply Recipes, Great instructions with really good picutres to guide you
D'Artagnon, information on the kind of duck that I bought