A classic French recipe for Duck Confit, or Confit de Canard, which are duck legs slowly cooked in duck fat until meltingly tender, and then pan fried until the skin is crispy and golden. Recipe with step-by-step photos.
To prepare the duck legs
To make the Duck Confit
To serve the Duck Confit
Duck legs work best in this recipe and I prefer to buy small duck legs which are easier to serve than large ones; large duck legs tend to be too big for one person. Duck breasts can also be used in this recipe, but they are not as commonly used.
To prepare Duck Confit after it has been preserved, let the container come to room temperature or until the duck can be easily removed from the duck fat in one piece. You could also gently warm the container in a very low oven which will melt the duck fat, allowing you to easily remove the duck.
Duck fat can be purchased from specialty stores or butchers. I buy them sold in glass jars in the refrigerated section.
Any leftover duck fat should be strained of any brown meat juices and kept in a sterilised glass jar in the fridge.
You can reuse leftover duck fat to make Duck Confit again, and it will be even more delicious because the duck fat will already have a lot of flavour from the previous batch of duck confit. I love to use leftover duck fat to make the best roast potatoes.
If you are not serving the Duck Confit right away, place the duck into a clean container, preferably made from glass or ceramic. Strain the leftover duck fat into a large bowl or jug, taking care not to catch any of the brown meat juices which should be discarded. Completely cover the duck with the strained duck fat, and leave to cool to room temperature. Cover the container and keep in the fridge for up to 1 month. Joël Robuchon gives further instructions to heat enough lard to cover the (set) duck fat by 1 to 2 cm as a method of keeping the confit for longer. Once the lard has set, press a piece of parchment paper onto the lard, completely cover the container and store in the fridge for 5-6 months.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.