Confession: I did not pickle the okra OR render the duck myself. I know, I'm a fraud in this recipe, but with all of the amazing resources available to me at the Union Square farmer's market, I was spoiled/inspired to make something a little less time consuming.
Pickling is a very easy process, although the wait time for final product can be a little frustrating. I try to make a day out of picking assorted vegetables, so I can have them readily available year round. I am providing an excellent go-to recipe for any vegetable type. Personally I like to add garlic and allspice for my own little kick (http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/diy-pickles). My pickled okra was sourced from Millport Dairy Farms.
If you are feeling extremely ambitious then I implore you to attempt duck confit from scratch. There is an abundance of easy and not-so-easy recipe options to pursue on the world wide web. I purchased my cheater's version from Hudson Valley duck.
Of course, if you aren't in the land of local farmers, one can substitute with any variation of meats for this recipe. Roasted beef, lamb or chicken would be fine, bearing in mind that the leaner the meat, the more fat will need to be added. Traditionally confited meat was made with pork, but I always abstain from it myself, due to the prevalence of parasites. Pickled vegetables have commonly been served to accompany confit, as a balanced acidity to cut through the fat.
As awesome as the duck confit in this dish is, the highlight of it is the cracker that I was finally excited about mastering. I had to play around with quite a few gluten free flours to find something equally nutritious and palatable. For this recipe, I seasoned the crackers with coriander and lemon zest to enhance the features of the duck, but they can really be seasoned with anything that excites you (including cinnamon and honey or everything bagel seasoning). This cracker recipe is on the smaller side, to accommodate the size quantity of duck meat. Of course it depends on the way you cut the dough, but at least 12 large to 24 small crackers will be rendered.
time: 30 mins
2/3 cup oat flour
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of water
1 leg duck confit (approximately 6oz)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 large (or 2 small) clove garlic
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
pickled okra or other pickled vegetable of choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take the duck out to be left at room temperature. Also make sure the okra is refrigerated. Mix all dry ingredients of the cracker dough separately. Also, mix all wet ingredients together. Incorporate the two until a crumbly dough forms. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough evenly onto the sheet, no thicker than 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough as desired.
Bake the dough for 20 minutes. While crackers are baking, roast the garlic clove by placing it in a dry pan while still in its skin. Cover the pan and roast the garlic on medium heat for approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan and set it aside. Prepare the duck by removing the meat and fat from the skin and bone. There will be a thin layer of fat underneath the skin that should be included as well. In a bowl, break up the meat by shredding it with two forks. The meat can also be pulsed in a food processor on low, for a creamier consistency. Remove the clove of a garlic from its shell and whisk it into the duck with the mustard and thyme. Add salt and pepper if desired
Remove the crackers from the oven and place (teaspoon for small size, tablespoon for large) duck confit on the crackers and place them back in the oven for approximately 2-3 minutes, just until meat is warm. Slice the pickled okra and lay it on top of the cracker, for a refreshing contrast of cool acidity.