Pan-seared Cod with Duck Confit

4 Servings

At Les Platanes in Biarritz, Arnaud Daguin blends seafood from his adopted home with the specialties of his native Gascony. Here, rich duck fat and confit lend the fish a meaty flavor

    Four 7-ounce skinless cod fillet, 1 ¼ inches thick
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    All-purpose flour
    2 T duck fat
    1 duck leg confit, boned, skin and meat finely chopped
    1/3 cup minced shallots
    1/3 cup dry white wine
    1 T unsalted butter
    2 T finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1.    Preheat the oven to 375. Season the cod on both sides with salt and pepper and dust with flour. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the duck fat over high heat. Add the cod, skinned side up, and cook until golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Carefully transfer the fish to a baking sheet, browned side up, and bake until opaque throughout, about 5 minutes.

2.    Meanwhile, pour off half of the fat. Add the confit to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the skin is crisp and the meat is hot, 3 to 5 minutes; transfer the confit to a plate. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes; add them to the confit. Add the wine to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until reduced by half. Swirl in the butter and stir in the parsley.

3.    Transfer the fish to warmed dinner plates. Spoon the sauce over the fish, top with the confit and shallots and serve.

Wine: Try a regional match – a white Graves from Bordeauxx, such as the 1994 Château Carbonnieux. Arnaud likes to serve the 1995 Clos Uroulat Jurancon Sec.

Note: The duck leg confit and duck fat are available by mail-order from D’Artagnan, 800 327 8246

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