Recipe: Duck Confit and Fried Potato Sandwich
Drink: La Colombe Pennsylvania Rum cavitated with coffee.
What is there to do after the first big snow storm of the year with the second on the way but sit down with some hot coffee (or rum) and a sandwich the size of a doorstop? In true Philadelphia fashion, we layered an entire meal – meat, cheese, potatoes and greens – into a roll. You know duck confit can do a lot of things. But for us, the rich, dark leg meat just laid a solid flavor foundation for building what might be considered another variation on the club sandwich – if your club is made up of French farmers who are plenty hungry.
2 legs, duck confit, including the storing and cooking fat, which surrounds them
4 good thick slices Raclette cheese (the best comes from the Swiss Alpine regions)
3 small Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 individually sized foccacia or ciabatti
2 small handfuls of baby arugula, cleaned
Salt as needed
Pick the meat from the duck legs, and shred into small pieces. Set aside.
Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes approximately ¼-inch thick. (Uniformity is important when frying so one side doesn’t get overly crisp while the other remains soft and underdone.)
Place the sliced potatoes in a medium-sized bowl, and fill with cool water. Agitate the potatoes to help wash off the surface starch. Let stand for a minute, and then carefully drain. Repeat. (The water should be less cloudy with starch the second time.)
Heat the oven to 350 °F.
Heat 1 cup of the reserved duck fat in a large steep-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Line a plate with a double layer of paper towels, and set on the counter beside the heating pan. To test if the fat is hot enough: Dip in an edge of a potato slice. It should immediately begin to bubble, and when released, the entire slice should immediately begin to fry on the surface without sinking. Add the potatoes in an even layer, and fry until golden brown, turning as necessary. Remove to the paper towel-lined plate as they are ready, and season with salt.
Split the foccacia as for sandwiches and toast under the broiler.
Using just the bottom halves, layer duck confit, then potatoes, a good slice of Raclette cheese, and then a few more potatoes. Place the bottom halves in the preheated oven to melt the ingredients together. Remove from oven, and add the arugula. Spread some good strong mustard over the top half of each roll, lightly press together to seal, and have at it.