Confit de canard

Confit de canard is duck cooked, preserved and resurrected in its own fat. It's an archaic dish, stretching-back prehistorically (8-10Kyr) to France and Spain. Originally, it was used to keep meat during the barren, winter months.

1 duck, 5-7 lbs
coarse salt: sea or kosher
Carve the duch into 8 pieces. Remove every morsel of fat from the pieces and carcass of the duck. Since there's considerable fat, embedded in the skin, remove the skin from the back of the duck. Chop the fat and skin - finely - reserving both in the refrigerator for later use.

Sprinkle salt on the pieces of the duck, adequately coating both sides. Press the salt, firmly into the flesh and skin. Place the duck into a non-reactive container. Allow it to dry-marinate for 24 hours, under refrigeration.

Find a saucepan that will hold the duck, submerged in its own melted fat. Render the reserved fat/skin in this saucepan over very low heat. If necessary, add enough oil to barely cover the intended duck. After rendering, strain the spent skin from this grease. Brush as much salt from the duck as possible. Rinse the pieces under cold water. Completely submerge the duck in the rendered fat. Poach for 2 1/2 hours over a very low flame.

After the duck is poached to tenderness, allow it to cool to room temperature. Cover and place the saucepan into the refrigerator for 12 hours.

Carefully lift the pieces of duck and congealed fat from the saucepan. The fat coaleses on the surface and the water and juice sink to the bottom. Discard the juice/water layer. Locate the smallest possible container which can hold the duck, enveloped in its own fat. Minimizing air contact is crucial to the preservation of cooked duck. Place the duck pieces into the container, then pour, smear and mold the fat on and around the duck. Verify that the surface of the duck is entirely coated in fat. If not, pour a sufficient quantity of oil over the exposed surfaces to submerge them. Cover the container, tightly, with aluminium foil and a lid. Allow the duck to mature for 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

After 3 weeks (the duck can be preserved for 6 months), dislodge a piece of the duck from the fat. Slice it into thin strips. Slice an all-purpose potato thinly. Heat up a skillet, add some of the preserved duck fat. Sear the duck, skin side down in the fat. Fry the potato chips along with the duck. When the duck heated-through, remove the duck. Do not over-cook the duck. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Fry the potatoes until crisp.