For this classic French dish, look for duck fat online or render duck skin and fat purchased at an Asian butcher.
Freezing Information: Freeze for up to 6 months.
Prepare ahead: Make the confit up to 4 weeks in advance. Keep in the refrigerator until needed. To give you plenty of time, start the confit at least 1 day before you plan to serve it.
Preparation Time15 min
Preparation Time - Text15 mins, plus chilling and curing
Cooking Time1 min
Total Timea day or more
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Taste and Texturemeaty, rich
- 4 duck legs
- 1 cup kosher or sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp whole white peppercorns
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 5 juniper berries
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 2½ lb (1kg) duck fat, melted
- Ovenproof baking dish
Dry the duck legs on paper towels. Process the salt, garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds, juniper berries, and thyme in a food processor until a rough paste forms. Transfer to a glass or ceramic baking dish. Add the duck legs, and rub with and bury in the salt mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Rinse the duck well and pat dry. Transfer to a baking dish just large enough to hold the duck in a single layer, and add the duck fat.
Cook the duck for 1½ hours, or until very tender when tested with the tip of a knife.
Remove from the oven and let the duck cool completely in the fat. Transfer the confit and the fat to a zippered plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve, heat the duck with a thin layer of clinging fat in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes, until browned and heated through. Serve immediately.
Good with mesclun salad and roasted root vegetables.
2008 Dorling Kindersley