Peking Duck Stock
Chop the duck into large pieces. In a large pot, sweat the garlic, fennel, onion, celery, carrot, tomato, ginger and lemongrass. Cook until the vegetables start to brown, then add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Stir.
Add the duck and the water. Add the thyme and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Strain, set aside and cool.
To clarify the duck stock, in a stainless steel bowl combine the minced duck leg meat, vegetables and egg whites. Gradually mix together and slowly whisk until it becomes a light foam.
The duck stock at this point must be completely cool. The fat will have risen to the top. Skim and discard this fat. Place the cooled stock in a large saucepan. Slowly stir in the clarifying mixture and place over a medium-to-low heat; bring to a simmer. Do not stir this mixture for the rest of the clarifying process.
The mixture that will form at the top of the simmering consommé is called a “raft”. You will notice that when you simmer the mixture very slightly, a hole will start to emerge in the center. For the clarification to work only bring this mixture to a light simmer and DO NOT BOIL. If the stock boils, the raft will separate and will make the consommé cloudy. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Through the hole in the raft, gradually ladle 2 to 3 ounces of consommé at a time through a cheese cloth-lined chinois, or a fine-mesh sieve. (Do not strain or break up the raft mixture.) Do this until the liquid is completely clear.
To finish this dish, heat the consommé slightly, season it with salt. In four individual bowls place a little Duck Confit to garnish and pour consommé over. This consommé has a wonderful flavour, which can also stand alone.
Sprinkle the bottom of a large roasting pan with the garlic, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Arrange the duck legs in one layer in the bottom of the pan. Rub the seasonings onto the legs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
After 24 hours remove legs from seasoning, rinse under cold water and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 275ºF.
In a saucepan over medium heat melt the duck fat; allow to cool to room temperature. Pour the duck fat over the legs, covering them completely. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until the meat falls from the bone (2 to 3 hours).
The confit can be stored covered with the fat in the refrigerator for up to a month.
When ready to use, remove the meat from the bone and cut into small pieces, cover and refrigerate until needed.