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I’m spending time in my studio apartment in NYC now and so have been cooking for one and thinking about the unusual nature of the task: single portions using as few pans as possible. I’ve posted recently on the importance of duck confit, and how it represents for me our ingenuity in terms of preserving food. But sometimes duck confit is just duck confit: a satisfying and delicious meal. And perfect for one in a tiny kitchen. Especially given that prepared duck confit is right around the corner at the most excellent Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in the Chelsea Market (I wrote about them last year). Happily, the wonderful company D’Artagnan makes duck confit and sells to many grocers and they also can ship directly to you. D’Artagnan is celebrating its 30th anniversary on Monday—congrats, Ariane!

For this meal, it was as simple as putting the duck into a cast iron skillet and then into a 400˚F oven for 20 minutes, then crisping the skin under the broiler. I removed it to a plate. In the same pan, i cooked 4 cloves of chopped garlic in the plentiful confit fat, along with an aggressive pinch of cayenne (I’d have used espelette if I’d thought to buy some at the spice vendor across from Dickson’s). I then dressed some arugula with this fat before tossing leftover pasta in the fat. While this heated through, I finished the salad (tossed in its clamshell container) with a squeeze of fresh lemon. And that was it: duck confit on spicy garlic pasta with an arugula salad. This with an inexpensive pinot made the perfect one-pan-one-plate meal.

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One last note: thank you all for contributing so many great ideas on the last post about cookbooks you’d like to see! The winner of the signed copy of In Short Measures was Rob Freytag, who made the excellent suggestion to write about fish: whole-roasting, steaming, baking, appropriate sauces, the seasonality of fish, and wine pairings. Thanks Rob, and thanks all who commented with ideas.

If you liked this post on duck confit, check out these other posts:

© 2015 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2015 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.