Duck Confit, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese and Oven Roasted Tomato Pizza

Yield:
1 (12-inch) pizza.
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 1 (12-inch) pizza dough (see recipe)
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup roasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Duck Confit, julienned, recipe follows
  • 6 ounces Fresh Mozzarella cheese, recipe follows
  • 4 Italian Roma tomatoes, split in half and roasted, julienned
  • DUCK CONFIT
  • 6 duck legs
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 3 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 quart rendered duck fat, melted (or mild olive oil)
  • MAKING FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE
  • 2 gallons water
  • Salt
  • 1 pound fresh Mozzarella curd
  • 1 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 cup roasted garlic
Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place the baking stones in the oven. Using a food processor with the metal blade, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Puree the mixture until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of the olive oil through the feed tube and puree until smooth. (Add additional olive oil if needed) Season the pesto with salt and pepper. Remove from the food processor and set aside. To assemble, spread an even layer of the pesto on top of the dough. Layer the cheese over the sauce. Sprinkle the duck confit and tomatoes over the cheese. Place in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pizza from the oven. Place the pizza on a cutting board and slice the pizza.

DUCK CONFIT

Press duck legs, flesh-side down, into salt. Lightly sprinkle additional salt on fat side. In a nonreactive container layer duck legs with herbs and spices: Place 3 legs in container, fat-side down, cover with peppercorns, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and press on remaining 3 legs, flesh-side down. Store overnight, covered and refrigerated Remove legs from container, rinse off salt and seasonings under cold water and pat dry. Place in a deep saucepan or Dutch oven large enough to hold legs in one layer and pour in melted duck fat. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heat to very low and cook until meat actually pulls away from drumsticks. Allow confit to cool in its fat. Store, completely covered in fat, refrigerated, for up to 1 month before using. Yield: 6 pieces

In a large stock pot, add the water. Add enough salt to the water until it tastes like saltwater. Bring the temperature of the water up to about 120 to 130 degrees, until the touch of the water is like hot bath water. Place a colander in the water. Crumble the cheese curd into the water. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until the curd starts to pull. Using your hands or a spoon, pull the cheese until it begins to hold shape. It's like pulling taffy. Do not over pull the cheese because the end product will be rubbery. If the cheese hardens to soon, dip it back in the water and repeat the pulling process. After the desired weight is achieved, dip the cheese in an ice bath. The cheese can either be stored in salted water or rolled in plastic wrap. If you want to flavor the cheese, add the flavorings during the pulling process. Rub your hands with the herbs and garlic and work them into the cheese. Yield: about 1 pound of cheese


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