Let me start this sweet tale around a delicious recipe telling you who the love story is about. Let me introduce my baby brother Brandon and his lovely wife Ly.
They were childhood friends that rediscovered that they made a great lifelong team. They have moved some distance to Michigan chasing careers, far away from the family in Texas and pretty darn far from me in Oregon. But sharing a sweet call, email or recipe keeps us close. I chuckled when I got a call “ hey sis??? Have you made duck tacos? “ 😂 uhhh no? Duck? Do tell. Hope you enjoy. This is a multi-day process.
Well here is what this couple enjoys together in the kitchen. Photos and recipe compliments of my little brother and his sweetheart. I love you both!
Duck Confit Tacos
3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon whole juniper berries
4 skin-on bone-in duck legs, Frenched (see note)
6 cups duck fat
4 sprigs thyme
2 ¼-inch round slices of lemon
2 fresh bay leaves
1 head garlic, split in half horizontally
In a small bowl, combine the salt and juniper. Place the duck legs on a parchment-lined sheet tray and season liberally with the juniper salt. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight or for up to two days.
Remove the duck legs from the refrigerator and rinse and pat dry. Using a paring knife, make small pricks all over the skin. Melt the duck fat in an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 200°. Add the duck legs, thyme, lemon, bay leaves and garlic and cook, maintaining a temperature of 190° to 210°, until the duck legs are very tender and there is no resistance when pulling the bones, about 2 to 2½ hours.
Carefully remove the duck legs and set aside. Strain the duck fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, leaving any cloudy liquid behind. Place the duck legs in a 4-quart Pyrex dish; pour the strained fat over the top until it covers the legs by 1 inch; cover and chill. The duck legs can be used right away or stored for up to a month. (Refrigerate the duck fat for other uses, such as frying potatoes or sautéing greens.)
To serve, heat the oven to 400°. Remove the duck from its storing liquid and place skin-side up on an aluminum-lined sheet tray over a wire rack. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 30 to 35 minuets.
Shread meat and assemble on warm tortillas and fresh lime sweet onion and cilanto.