Duck Mole Carnitas

I love duck. I love its flavor, its depth of richness, its texture, its versatility, its essence and easy to cook. We’ve all heard of Duck a l’Orange, the classic French dish. I wanted to make a Mole version of Duck a l’Orange, adding a sous vide technique, making ultimately a chocolate orange duck confit, that when fried would take on the texture of a carnitas pork. Sound complicated and crazy? Well, with Eat Beer Hot Sauce Nor Cal Mole it is easy and very hands off cooking. The hot sauce brings the classic Oaxacan Mole flavors along with some heat. All the work has been done for you, the ratios are set and the flavor is ready to go! The duck cures in salt and orange zest and hot sauce.  Then the Duck Mole Carnitas is cooked using either a sous vide machine or the oven, using the classic French cooking technique of confit or cooking in its own fat.

What to do with this Duck Mole Carnitas when it’s done? Your Taco Tuesday will not be the same after you’ve tasted this recipe! It can be a main course, served with Garlic Rice and Black Beans, shredded and added to a burrito, quesadilla or mixed with cheese and stuffed into a roasted and skinned poblano chili…  Endless possibilities.  And if you are a duck lover like I am, this finished recipe can be stored and have at the ready, for a quick meal with almost zero preparation.

Makes: 2 Duck Legs

Recipe Note: As this recipe is easy to make and perfect make a head dish, stores well, I suggest making more than 2 duck legs. Scale the recipe to as many duck legs you can get your hands on. I personally love what Jim Jim Reichardt at Sonoma Poultry does.  His Liberty Duck is simply amazing!  It’s what The French LaundryChez Panisse and many other great Bay Area restaurants use.

Duck Mole Carnitas
Duck Mole Carnitas
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Use Eat Beer Hot Sauce first flavor Nor Cal Mole to season and cure duck legs in, that are then confited via sous vide or in the oven and later browned off, creating Duck Mole Carnitas! One can use this in a multitude of meal applications.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 hour 48 hour
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 hour 48 hour
Duck Mole Carnitas
Duck Mole Carnitas
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Use Eat Beer Hot Sauce first flavor Nor Cal Mole to season and cure duck legs in, that are then confited via sous vide or in the oven and later browned off, creating Duck Mole Carnitas! One can use this in a multitude of meal applications.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 hour 48 hour
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minute
Cook Time Passive Time
8 hour 48 hour
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
Preparing the Duck Legs:
  • Take your duck legs and wash them under cold water, removing any quills or debris. Pat dry with paper towels and place them into a bowl. Zest the citrus of choice, salt and add the Nor Cal Mole Hot Sauce.
  • Using latex or rubber gloves, rub all the ingredients all over the duck legs.
  • Place the Nor Cal Mole rubbed legs into a sous vide bag. Seal on high and refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours to cure the duck leg and infuse the mole and orange flavors into the meat.
Cooking Directions:
  • Sous Vide: Place the bag into a water bath set to 180°F | 82°C and cook for 8 hours. The duck fat will render and the duck legs will confit in their own juices, making a delicious and tender duck. After 8 hours, remove the bag from the water bath and chill in ice water for 20 minutes. Dry, label and date the bag, placing it either in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.
  • Oven Confit: If you don't have a water bath or sous vide set up, you can easily confit these duck legs the traditional French way. Heat your oven to 250°F | 121°C. Set the duck legs into a small oven proof pan or baking dish. Cover with either rendered duck fat (that has been melted) or oil, such as a vegetable oil. Make sure the duck legs are fully submerged in the fat | oil, as this is one of the tricks to this cooking techniques, keeping the duck super tender and the skin pale. Place the cooking vessel uncovered into the center of your oven and cook for 6 - 8 hours. As the duck is cooking in an oxygen free environment, at a high enough temperature, that the fat is sterile after its oven time and temperature. The baking dish would be removed from the oven. Duck confit would be stored on the counter top of many French kitchens. The cooking fat, as it cools, thickens and creates a seal from the air. When a duck leg was needed, the chef would pull one from the congealed fat and fry it. This was before refrigeration and a great way to preserve the meat, in its own fat. The baking container can be placed into the refrigerator or the duck legs may be removed and put into a container.
To Serve:
  • To serve this Duck Mole Carnitas, place a cast iron skillet or sauté pan preheated over medium heat; add the sous vide | confit duck legs, including the fat, placing the duck legs skin side down. Cook until the skin is golden brown, about 5 - 7 minutes and flip, cooking another 3 - 4 minutes. Remove the duck legs to a cutting board. Drain (saving the duck fat for another use) the skillet. Using a fork, flake out the duck meat from the bone. Break up any large pieces and place back into the skillet and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. This third cooking will brown up the meat a little more, making the finished Duck Mole Carnitas perfect for service, recreating the texture of pork carnitas. To brighten all the flavors add a few drops of Nor Cal Mole Hot Sauce and stir into the finished meat. Use this meat into tacos, burritos, quesadillas, or topping a salad creating a Duck Mole Taco Salad, making Duck Mole Rillettes or used in any other recipe and uses as a protein into your meal.
    Duck Mole Carnitas
Recipe Notes

Prepared Duck Mole Carnitas

Duck Mole Carnitas, served with tortillas for tacos

 

Duck Tacos - Duck Mole Carnitas

Duck Mole Carnitas Tacos!

Sean Paxton

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