Recipe: Confit of Duck

Rating: 4.8 stars based on 1060 reviews

Serves 4 : Cooking time hours = eat many days after starting to cook.

Confit, salted goose or duck poached slowly in fat, is best after a couple of weeks, when the flavour will have developed fully.


  • 2 bay leaves, destalked
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 5 tablespoons sea salt
  • 4 duck legs
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 500g goose fat or lard


    • Put the bay leaves in a grinder with the thyme and blitz to a powder. Reserve.
    • Scatter half the salt in a dish, then lay the duck on top. Rub the garlic all over the duck and lay it, skin-side down, on top of the salt. Scatter the herb mixture evenly over the duck, then sprinkle over the remaining salt.
    • Refrigerate for 12 hours, then turn the duck over and return to the fridge for a further 12 hours. The salt will have liquified.
      • Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
      • Rinse the duck in cold water and pat dry.
      • On the stove top, gently melt the fat in a casserole or ovenproof dish in which the duck pieces just fit. When hot, add the duck, which must be covered with fat; if it is not, add lard until it is fully covered. When just trembling but not boiling, put the dish in the oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Push in a skewer at the thickest point; it should slide in easily. If not, check again after 10 minutes.
      • Transfer the confit to a plastic container, ladle the fat over the confit through a fine sieve, being careful not to ladle any of the juices from the bottom of the cooking dish. When cold, seal with a lid and refrigerate until needed.
        • Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
        • To serve, remove the duck from the fat, then place on a baking tray for 1 hour to come to room temperature. Pour off any melted fat from the tray and roast, skin-side down, for 20 minutes, turning it skin-side up to serve. Alternatively, fry over a low heat in a dry, heavy-based frying pan, starting skin-side down.
        • Melt the stored fat from the container and bring to the boil before straining back through a sieve into a bowl to keep in the fridge to use for another confit. It can be used 3 times before it becomes too salty.


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