Duck Confit Nachos with Corn-Chipotle Salsa

Serves 4 to 6 servings
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup minced red onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips, recipe follows, or restaurant-style store-bought chips
  • Duck Confit, recipe follows, removed from fat and shredded
  • 3 cups grated Havarti or Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced red onion rings
  • 4 whole jalapenos, stemmed and cut into thin strips
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the corn, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cumin, stir and cook until deep golden brown, about 1 minute. Let cool.

  • In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, chipotles, and garlic. Add the cooled corn and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  • Arrange the chips across a large ovenproof platter or baking sheet. Top with the duck confit and cheese. Arrange the onions and jalapenos over the cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the mixture is hot, 6 to 8 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and top with the Corn-Chipotle Salsa and sour cream. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Homemade Tortilla Chips:
  • 9 corn tortillas, cut into quarters

  • 4 cups corn or vegetable oil

  • Essence, recipe follows

  • In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil to 360 degrees F.

  • In batches, add the tortillas to the oil, being careful not to overcrowd, and cook until golden brown, turning once, about 1 minute. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with Essence. Serve warm or use to make nachos.

  • Yield: 3 dozen chips

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

Duck Confit:
  • 4 whole duck legs, with thighs attached (about 2 pounds), excess fat trimmed and reserved

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 10 garlic cloves

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • 4 cups olive oil or duck fat, or as needed

  • At least 2 days before serving, lay the duck legs skin side down on a platter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt and the ground pepper. Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme on 2 of the legs. Lay the remaining 2 legs skin side up on top. Put the reserved fat from the ducks in the bottom of a nonreactive container and top with the sandwiched duck pieces. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate to cure for 12 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

  • Remove the duck from the container. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and duck fat and reserve. Rinse the duck under cold running water, rubbing off some of the salt and pepper. Pat the duck dry with paper towels.

  • Put the reserved garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and duck fat in an enameled cast iron pot or deep glass baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with the peppercorns and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lay the duck pieces skin side down on top and add enough olive oil to cover.

  • Cover and bake until the meat pulls away from the bone, 12 to 14 hours.

  • Remove the duck from the fat. Strain the fat into a bowl and reserve. Remove the meat from the bones and place it in a 1-quart stoneware or glass container; discard the skin and bones. Add enough of the strained fat to cover the meat by 1/4 inch. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. (If desired, save the remaining fat in an airtight container and refrigerate to use as cooking fat.)

  • Yield: 2 cups

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