Since the past couple of days have been rather slow in the restaurant and we prepped really well, there was not much to do today at the poissonier station. We finally got our third partner back, so since he was sick, he missed the whole station and had to learn both dishes in one day. I took the liberty of preparing myself for the next station by asking chef if there was anything I needed to do for saucier. Oh lordy, I opened up Pandora’s box! He had me (which I am thankful for now because I learned a lot/practiced) make duck confit (cure, cook in rendered fat, refrigerate) and make the duck stock from scratch.
For the duck stock, I had to roast the bones first in the oven. Then I gathered my mirepoix together (carrot, onion, celery, tomato paste, bouquet garni, etc) and made sure to collect the spices (staranise, juniper seeds, cinnamon, orange peel, lemon peel, etc), so that as soon as the bones were roasted, all I had to do was add the liters of chicken stock and veal stock and then let that puppy simmer for a good 2 hours. While the stock was simmering away, I began working on the duck confit. I got a huge tub of duck fat and melted it down into liquid. My partner rubbed the cure off the ducks and made a bouquet garni out of it to then season the fat while simmering. The next step was to take the duck fat and cook the duck legs inside the fat. Sounds weird and gross, but promise it is delicious. Duck confit is found on menus all over trendy restaurants all over trendy cities and then again not so trendy cities. Once the duck legs were falling off the bone, I took them out – laid them on a hotel pan- cooled down the fat liquid- poured the liquid over the duck legs- and into the refrigerator it went over night. Then tomorrow, we take them out of the fat and into the fried rice it goes.
By the end of the day, all of my utensils were greasy and covered in fat. My hands were also slimy, but since I like to look at things with a glass half full mentality, I was thrilled that the fat acted like a cocoa butter nourishing my cold chapped fingers and palms. Tomorrow, I am off to saucier where we will be cooking duck and chicken dishes. Also, I have three special guests coming to the restaurant!!! My mom!!! My Baba!!! My Stephen!!! And My Nataly!!