Duck Confit, Brie and Apple Butter Sandwich

One of the things I love about cooking is that every now and then you get introduced to a new ingredient and you wonder how it is that you didn't know about it sooner. This sandwich it a compilation of those ingredients. Years ago when I was first introduced to brie I couldn't believe I had never tried it before. After eating it for the first time I started having it more and more and eventually it became a regular at all of my parties and meals. 

Confit was the same thing, I think I had heard about it several times and then about 9 years ago I was given a cookbook by Michael Ruhlman called Charcuterie. In that book was a recipe for confit and since I had a lot of duck laying around from some successful ducks seasons I gave it a try and it changed everything. Duck confit was an eye opener for me and I had no idea that such deliciousness existed. Today I use the confit method to make several different things. I confit duck gizzards and make fried rillettes and I have confit'd squirrels and wild turkey and have loved the results. As a lover of wild game I think learning to confit is a very valuable skill to have. It is not only a wonderful preservation technique but also allows you to use up parts of the wild animals that might not get used otherwise, like the gizzards and the wings and legs which are all very tough and sinewy.  A lot of people don't like geese but if they would try to confit goose legs and thighs it would change their opinion.

The last component of this sandwich that really brings it all together is apple butter. I don't know what it was about apple butter that always made me turn my nose up and walk away but I never even tried it until I decided to make a batch this fall. My wife wanted to go to an apple orchard and pick some apples and get some pumpkins with the kids and we may have gone slightly overboard. we came home with almost 50 pounds of apples. After looking at all those apples for a few day I decided I needed to do something with them. I made apple sauce and some canned spiced apples but still had a ton of apples left. I started looking through one of my cookbooks called Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. In it I found a recipe for apple butter and thought I would give it a try. After trying it i was floored, I couldn't believe that I had always turned away from apple butter. It is amazing and as I have found out since is one of the most versatile items in my pantry. Mixed with some white wine and Dijon mustard it makes a wonderful glaze for pork. It also pairs well with cheese on a cheese plate and is delicious on a ham and Swiss sandwich and makes oatmeal amazing when stirred in.  It also made this confit, brie and apple butter sandwich perfect. 

Duck Confit 

4 duck leg and thigh portions
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons maple sugar
1 tablespoon allspice berries roughly ground
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
3 bay leaves
Enough duck fat to cover the legs

Mix together the salt and spices and rub the duck legs with this mixture

Refrigerate for 24 hours

Rinse all the salt mixture off the legs and dry completely

Place the legs in a heavy oven proof pot and cover with duck or goose fat

Place in the oven at 200 degrees for 5-6 hours, you will know when the legs are done when the meat and skin have pulled away from the knuckle on the leg bone.

If you are going to store your confit you can place then in a Ziploc freezer bag with some of the rendered fat and put in the freezer. Or you can pack them into a container and cover with remaining rendered fat.

When You are ready to use the legs preheat the oven to 425 and then roast the legs for 10 to 15 minutes until the skin get crispy