Served w/ Tomato and Duck Confit
A great riff off on the classic French Cassoulet only using an all-Canadian cast. Begin by making the Duck Confit (duck fat is now available in specialty grocery stores) and refrigerate until needed.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup salt
- 1 shallot (thinly sliced)
- Thyme sprigs
- 8 duck legs
- 1 ½ litres rendered duck fat
Combine salt, sugar, shallot, and thyme in a bowl.
Trim duck legs of excess fat, then rub liberally with the cure. Allow the duck to sit in the cure for 3 hours, then rinse under the tap to remove any excess cure mix.
Preheat your oven to 250°, and warm the duck fat on the stove on a medium heat. Carefully add the cured duck legs to the fat, and place covered pot in the oven for 2-3 hours, until the duck is tender, but not falling apart.
Once finished cooking, allow duck to cool in the fat for at least an hour, overnight if possible.
The Lentil Ragout
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced double smoked bacon
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 2 ½ cups green lentils
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 small can diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 bouquet garni (tied bundle of thyme, rosemary, parsley and bay leaf)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
Add 2 tbsp/50 mL olive oil to pan, and fry bacon for five minutes to render some of the fat.
Add onions, celery, carrot, cook another five minutes until tender and the onions are translucent.
Add lentils to the mix, and stir in until combined, then fry for few minutes.
Deglaze with chicken stock, add the tomatoes, then add the maple syrup and your bouquet garni.
Continue to cook on the stove at a low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally, or place the pot in a 300° oven for two hours. Once the lentils are tender, add the cider vinegar. Be sure your cassoulet doesn’t dry out, top up with chicken stock as needed.
To serve, add duck confit, broken into bite-sized pieces, cover the pot with breadcrumbs, and bake until the top is crispy. Serve with toasted baguette and a nice glass of wine.
Serves 8 with leftovers.
Chef Craig Flinn
Chives Canadian Bistro, Halifax, NS
Although he has a degree from St. Mary’s University in Geography, his passion is food – local food. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of Canada in Prince Edward Island. while apprenticing with Chef Michael Smith at The Inn at Bay Fortune. His apprenticeship continued over the next 4 years throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States, most notably at the famous Savoy Hotel in London, England. Chef Craig Flinn and his talented team are known across Canada for their dedication to the food of the Atlantic region, more specifically Nova Scotia. Craig’s book, Fresh and Local, published in 2009, is an extension of that dedication. On December 4, 2001, Craig opened Chives Canadian Bistro and has never looked back. He’s received dozens of accolades not only from the media, but as a ‘Local Food Hero” something he definitely is.