A classy alternative to turkey for the festive season, can be served as a main, or used to make the classic Cassoulet.
- 4 duck legs
- 2 large handfuls sea salt
- about 1kg duck fat, it has to be enough to completely cover the legs after cooking
- 4 cloves garlic, bruised, in skin
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 small rosemary sprig
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
You will also need a jar big enough to hold the duck legs
The Night Before
- Rub the salt all over the duck legs, covering every bit of the meat.
- Place on a baking tray or large plate, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.
The Next Day
- Preheat the oven to 140˚C/275˚F.
- Heat the duck fat up on low heat in a large, ovenproof dish.
- Add all the other ingredients to the fat and swirl the fat once or twice as it’s melting.
- Rinse the duck legs thoroughly. Then soak in cold water for a minute, drain and repeat, that is, soak, drain and rinse one more time. I find that this extra step ensures the end result isn’t too salty.
- Pat the legs dry and submerge them into the hot fat.
- Bring the duck fat up to simmering point and transfer the whole lot into the oven and cook, uncovered, for 2 and a half hours, at which point, the meat will be tender and almost falling away.
- Cool everything to about room temperature, an hour should do.
- Lift the legs out with a clean pair of tongs and place them in your clean or sterilized jar as mentioned in Handy Hints.
- Now, strain the oil into the container and ensure that the legs are completely covered with the fat. Store in a cool, dark place or in your fridge, as I like to do. Throw away all the flavourings.
Total time does not take into account the overnight salting and the length of time you are going to preserve the duck legs for.
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Medium
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 4
Keywords: duck, french recipes, christmas, confit