The snow has settled and the clouds have parted! It’s so warm today that I don’t even need a coat (how crazy is that???). Admissions are starting to wrap up, so I have the formidable task of trying to decide what where I’d like to be for the next 7 years of my life (7 years! Ugh so long!). In the meantime, I’ve been cooking a lot to keep my mind off the stress that comes with decisions upon decisions upon decisions. You know what’s like, the BEST meal to get at any restaurant? There is a right answer, it’s the objective truth and there’s no denying it. Duck confit is the best meal one can choose at any restaurant. Duck confit with a nice side of potatoes and some roasted greens. Even though I consistently proclaim to the world that steak and wings are my favorite foods, I’d pick duck over anything. Which I guess makes duck my favorite food, technically. But it’s something you can’t get very often, so somehow I always end up deciding that I love steak and wings best.
A few weeks ago I was watching The Taste (you know, that cooking show??) and one of the contestants mentioned that a “confit” is something cooked in fat over a long period of time. Totally didn’t know that. It blew my mind! I’m not completely sure what I thought confit was, but I kind of (hehe) assumed it was just a fancy name for a duck leg.
Can’t believe its a cooking technique.
Can’t believe I never bothered to check. Silly me.
Anyway, so a few days ago I scored four duck legs at a farmers market, and ended up making duck confit using olive oil by halving this recipe. Twas a lot of olive oil, but the apartment smelled like my wildest dreams come true. Seriously.
We ended up eating two duck legs for dinner, and I was left with the other two to play with. It was such a golden opportunity that I was afraid of completely messing it up. So I gave it a couple of days of secret obsession.
Wait, two mildly related side note that I promise will make sense: 1. there is this AMAZING restaurant here that serves the best mac and cheese ever. And they are willing to put duck in your mac and cheese. So delicious, I feel like I’ve died in a bathtub of cheese every time; 2. have you guys ever had mashed potatoes on your pizza? There’s this trendy pizza and beer place here that serves a bacon garlic mashed potato white pies, and I get them without fail every single time because OMG so delish. When you put mashed potatoes under high heat like that, the top becomes a little crispy and the insides are creamy, so you get amazingly delightful bursts. Ugh guys I’m hungry…
Okay the point of those two tales was that I put everything together and made a pizza. This is a pretty anticlimactic conclusion to my incoherent ramblings but ridiculously climactic for your tastebuds. Totally recreated a duck confit meal on a pizza. Duck, lots of cheesy goodness, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts. And five billion cloves of garlic (by that I mean five cloves). And it's really easy too, especially if you just buy duck confit instead of making it yourself.
This pizza looks small but it really fills you up because of all the stuff that’s on it. It’s probably a million calories, but worth it. Totally worth it.
Duck Confit Pizza with Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
10-inch pizza, 2 servings
What you need:
- This no-knead pizza dough, halved (the original recipe makes 2 10-inch pies whereas this duck confit pizza is for 1 10-inch pie)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized russet potato
- 2 tbsp fat, either left over from the duck confit or just butter
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated gruyere
- 1/2 cup packed thinly sliced brussel sprouts, around 10-12 brussel sprouts
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (optional)
How to do it:
- 10 hours prior to making the pizza, begin the no-knead pizza dough and let it sit in an olive oiled 10-inch cast iron pan.
- 15min prior to making the pizza, boil potato in salted water until soft. Drain, and then mash with 2 cloves of minced garlic, fat, and milk. Let sit to absorb the garlic flavors.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Assemble the pizza: Push dough towards the edges of the pan. Spread mozzarella and half the gruyere onto the dough. Sprinkle remaining garlic on top.
- Arrange shredded duck throughout the pizza, and then toss brussel sprouts over the duck.
- Using a spoon, arrange large scoops of mashed potato on top of the brussel sprouts.
- Top the entire pizza with pepper, thyme, and red chili pepper flakes if using. Finish it off with by sprinkling the remaining gruyere.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20min, until crust has turned brown, the cheese is bubbly, and the mashed potatoes are mildly crunchy.