Really Easy Duck Confit

Dinner of duck confit

Hello again!

I am sure there are a few of you out there that had given up on seeing another recipe here on this “food” blog ever, ever again.

Finally, at long last here it is! A recipe for a really easy (and delicious) duck confit. A recipe worth waiting for, I promise!

We made this duck confit during our culinary tour in Paris in the spring and it was one of the most popular cooking class recipes we demonstrated. Everyone in our group loved that it demystified the whole confit process, that it didn’t require large tubs of expensive duck fat and that it still managed to taste fantastic. The joy of this recipe is that all you need to make a very good duck confit at home is some good quality duck legs, some common herbs, salt and pepper and a bit of patience.

I wish I could claim ownership of such a great confit technique but credit must be given to New York Times columnist Melissa Clark and Chef Eric Bromberg who developed it while working on the Blue Ribbon Cookbook that was to feature a traditionally made French duck confit.  Home cooks have always been reluctant to make duck confit primarily due to the amount of expensive, and not readily available, duck fat. So Melissa and Eric set out to develop a more user friendly method that works like a dream at home.

A traditional duck confit is made by curing duck legs with herbs and spices and then slowly poaching the legs in duck fat until the meat is super tender and falling off the bone. Once cooked the legs can be cooled and placed in a container and then completely covered by a layer duck fat. This is a centuries old method to preserve meat, allowing it to be stored for up to six months. When ready to eat the legs are removed from the fat and placed in a hot pan to crisp up the skin and warm the meat.

The traditional approach to making confit makes perfect sense in a restaurant kitchen as duck fat, and lots of it, is readily available from the butchering of ducks for other dishes.  Not so at home. This non-traditional approach will not allow you to preserve the duck legs for long periods of time but duck confit never lasts more than a day or two around my house anyway.

By simply slowly rendering the fat from the duck legs themselves in a pan before cooking them in a low oven for a couple of hours yields surprisingly unctuous results. The amazing added bonus is that there is just enough duck fat left over to fry up a batch of crispy potatoes!

You will need to cure the duck legs for at least 24 hours before you slowly cook them so do plan ahead.

When I make duck confit I always add in a few additional legs to use in other dishes. Duck confit Shepherd’s Pie with truffled mashed potatoes and caramelized corn is a personal favourite. Leftover duck confit is also very at home paired with risotto, in salads, soups or in sandwiches.  A little taste of Paris!

Duck confit and potatoes



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8 Responses to Really Easy Duck Confit

  1. Beeta says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe out! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    I will have to post back once I actually make it 🙂

  2. Bonnie says:

    Duck Confit Shepherd’s Pie with truffled mashed potatoes and carmelized corn????
    Holy crap. I wish I was your neighbour! Then I’s know by the scents in the air when to wander over!

  3. Jess says:

    Eli’s a big fan of duck and has been glancing at various recipes lately, considering an attempt at home. I’m going to pass this one along to him. Thank you!

  4. Bonnie says:

    Where should I go to buy duck in Vancouver?

    • You can find them fresh sometimes at local butchers like Market Meats in Kits, and other specialty poultry places. For frozen duck legs Cioffi’s carries them for a decent price and Jackson’s Poultry on Granville Island has them too, although slightly more expensive. If using the frozen legs, you will need to thaw them in the fridge overnight, then season and cure for another 24 hours before cooking them so plan ahead!

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