Duck Confit Taquitos
Although preparing these rich taquitos takes a bit of advance planning, the results are worth the effort. These crispy treats, which originated at the Los Angeles bar and restaurant Bar Amá, would be perfect paired with a pitcher of margaritas.
For the duck confit:
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
- 6 bone-in duck legs
- 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1.5 l) duck fat, melted
- Canola oil as needed
For the filling:
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) dried cranberries, chopped
- 2 sage leaves, chopped
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 24 corn tortillas
- Canola oil for frying
To make the duck confit, in a small bowl, stir together the salt and sugar. Spread the mixture all over the duck legs. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Preheat an oven to 275°F (135°C).
Rinse the cure mixture off the duck legs with cool running water, then pat the legs dry with paper towels.
Transfer the duck legs to a Dutch oven. Pour the melted duck fat over the legs. If the fat does not completely cover the legs, add canola oil to the pot until the legs are submerged. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook the duck legs until the meat is very tender and pulls away from the bone, about 4 hours.
Remove the pot from the oven and let cool until the duck legs are cool enough to be handled easily. Remove the legs from the fat and shred the duck meat into small pieces, carefully discarding all the bones and skin.
To make the filling, in a large bowl, combine the shredded duck confit, the Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses, the cranberries, sage leaves, the lemon, lime and orange zests, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until evenly combined.
To assemble the taquitos, spread 1 1/2 Tbs. of the filling across the center of one of the tortillas and roll it into a cylinder. Assemble two more taquitos in the same manner. Insert a skewer horizontally through the center of the 3 taquitos to fasten them together. Set aside and repeat with the remaining ingredients to form approximately 24 taquitos, assembled into 8 rafts of 3 taquitos each.
In a deep, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm) and heat to 375°F (190°C) on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
Working in batches, carefully fry the taquitos until they are crisp and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes each. As they are done, transfer the taquitos to the prepared baking sheet to drain.
To serve, spoon 2 Tbs. of the crema on an individual plate. Remove one of the skewers holding the taquitos together and arrange the 3 taquitos on top of the crema. Spoon 3 Tbs. of the avocado salsa, 2 Tbs. of the salmorejo salsa and 2 Tbs. of the guacamole on top of the taquitos. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the queso fresco.
Repeat with the remaining taquitos and toppings and serve immediately. Makes about 24 taquitos.
Bar Amá, Los Angeles, CA