Atlanta restaurant reviews, culinary news, and gluttonous gossip by admitted foodaholic Serina Patrick

Chef Nick Leahy’s Duck Confit at Saltyard

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Chef Nick LeahyExecutive Chef of Saltyard, Nick Leahy is an up-and-comer on the Atlanta culinary scene. Most recently he was winner of the Taste of Atlanta VIP Chef’s Cook-Off competition and won the Atlanta Battle of the Burgers. Prior to his work at Saltyard Leahy honed his skills working for Concentrics, Chef Chip Ulbrich and Fifth Group in Atlanta. He also served as Executive Chef at Daylesford Organic in London, a restaurant and farm that solely uses its own homegrown, organic ingredients including fruits, vegetables, dairy and cattle. This experience fueled his passion for working with small, organic, local and artisan producers. Born in Bermuda, and partially raised in Europe as a child, Nick refers to his cooking as “globally inspired with an emphasis on using local and regional ingredients.”
(photos and bio courtesy of Elle PR)

Some of my earliest food memories as a boy include eating duck confit in Southern France and ordering what I thought was steak, but what turned out to be my first ever steak tartar. When a huge pile of raw ground beef with all the condiments, including raw egg yolks, was delivered I polished off the entire plate and told everyone I loved it. ~Nick Leahy

Duck Confit w/Roasted Butternut Squash Hash, and Cider-Reduction

For the Duck Confit:

4 duck legs
1 c kosher salt
1 c sugar
4 tblsp Herbes de Provence
1 tblsp white peppercorns ground
2 lb duck fat

1) Mix salt, sugar, Herbes, and pepper together
2) Rub all over duck legs, and place in a covered pan overnight in fridge to cure
3) Wash off legs, place in fridge in an uncovered pan overnight to dry the skin
4) Place legs in dutch oven or casserole dish, and cover with melted duck fat.  Bake at 250 F for 6 hours.  Cool legs in fat overnight.
5) When ready to serve, pull legs from fat, place in heavy bottomed saute pan, and roast at 450 F, until warmed through and with crispy skin.

For the Hash:

1 butternut squash, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tblsp chopped parsley
2 tblsp butter

1) Warm butter over medium heat in heavy bottomed saute pan.  Add onion and cook till lightly golden.  Add butternut and cook until just tender, stirring frequently.  Finish with parsley & jalapeno, and serve.

For the Cider-Marsala Reduction:

1 750ml bottle marsala wine
1 gallon apple cider

1) In heavy bottomed pan, over medium heat, reduce wine and cider together by roughly 80%, or until a sticky, maple syrup like texture is achieved.

To plate, spoon some of the hash into the middle of the plate, and top with the duck confit.  Pour the sauce around the plate, making sure not to pour it on top of the crispy skin of the duck as that would ruin the crispy texture.  Enjoy with a glass of Oregon Pinot Noir, or a not too sweet German Riesling.

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