The holidays are probably the best time to indulge in some of the richer foods generally reserved for special occasions, but that doesn’t mean their presentation needs to be pretentious. This triple-decker BLT recipe, courtesy of Chef Kevin Mathieson of Ottawa’s Art-Is-In Boulangerie, features delicious confit duck with a number of accoutrements that are both delicious, and easy to come by for a post-Christmas or New Year’s Day luncheon.
For the Duck Confit:
- 4 duck legs
- 12 tablespoons coarse salt
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme (pull thyme leaves from stems)
- 8 cups of duck fat
To brine the duck:
- Pat dry the duck legs with a paper towel; transfer to a bowl and rub with coarse salt and fresh thyme leaves.
- Cover and place in the fridge for 12-16 hours.
To confit the duck:
- Put the duck fat in a stock pot on low heat to melt the fat.
- While the duck fat is heating, remove the brined duck legs from the fridge and rinse them under cold water to remove the salt and thyme. Pat the duck legs dry.
- Place the dried duck legs in the fat, ensuring they are covered, and simmer on low heat for 3 hours. After the 3 hours are up, remove from the oil to drain and cool.
- When the duck legs have cooled, remove the meat from the bones (discarding the skin and bones). Pull the duck meat apart into sections and strips about 2 inches long, and ½ an inch thick. Set aside until time to assemble.
To assemble the BLT, use slices of brioche bread, leftover cranberry sauce, crumbled goat cheese, bacon (optional), sliced tomato, and peppery arugula leaves. This recipe is good for 8 sandwiches, and is easy to adjust for the number of people you’re cooking for.
- Lay 24 slices of brioche down on a work surface (note that each sandwich will have 3 slices). Spread 4 of the slices with mayo (these will be the bottom of the BLT). Place the duck confit evenly over the mayo. Crumble some goat cheese on top of the duck.
- Place a slice of brioche on top of the goat cheese and duck, then spread that slice with cranberry sauce. Top the cranberry with 2 slices of bacon (if desired). Place a tomato slice over the bacon, then a few leaves of arugula.
- Spread mayo on the remaining 4 slices of bread, and place them on top of the arugula. If desired, press sandwiches on a panini grill for 2 minutes. Slice diagonally and serve
For the Lemon Chive Mayo
- 1 ⅓ cups mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- Juice of one lemon
- 3 tablespoons creamy Dijon mustard
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of black pepper
For the Caramelized Bacon
- 8 strips raw bacon
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
To make Lemon Chive Mayo:
- Combine all ingredients.
- Stir and set aside until time to assemble.
To make Caramelized Bacon:
- Place bacon on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, making sure to separate strips. Sprinkle the bacon with brown sugar; bake in a 350 degree (F) oven for for 10-12 minutes, until bacon is crispy.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a bowl to make sure bacon fat does not solidify. Set aside until time to assemble.
Photo courtesy of Art-Is-In Boulangerie