Duck Confit

We love eating duck in the Emerton family and duck confit is right up there as one of our favorites; whether they are lightly fried in a pan and served with roasted potatoes and a fresh green salad, or cooked with risotto and drizzled with truffle oil.  There are so many tasty ways to have duck confit, it's a good idea to make a couple extra to have in the freezer for an easy go-to for a future meal.  The best thing that happened while making these?  Stella walked in, saw the melting duck fat, and said "you're making duck confit?"  Proud mama.

You'll need:

3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
8-10 sprigs thyme
8-10 fresh bay leaves
8 duck hind quarters (legs with thighs attached)
about 6 cups of duck fat

1 dish or pan large enough to hold all the duck legs in a single layer.

To prepare

1) Mix together the kosher salt and sugar.  
2) Sprinkle half of the salt and sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan.  Evenly scatter half of the pepper, garlic, shallot, thyme and bay leaf.  
3) Place the duck, skin side up, over the salt mixture and then sprinkle with the remaining salt/sugar, pepper, garlic, shallot, thyme and bay leaf.
4) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 day.

The next day, preheat the oven to 225f.
5) Take the duck out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you are ready to cook them.  Brush the salt mixture off of the duck pieces and arrange them in a single snug layer in a deep baking dish or large dutch oven.  
6) Melt the duck fat in a saucepan.
7) Pour the melted duck fat over the duck.  They should be covered by the fat.
8) Place the pan in the oven and cook the duck for about 3-4 hours.  The duck should be tender and easily pulled away from the bone.  It may take longer depending on whether the duck is cold going into the oven and if the oil is hot or warm. 
9) Cool and store the duck in the fat.  The duck will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Or, you can wrap them tightly with a little of the fat and freeze them individually.  Six of these will find their way into a cassoulet this weekend.  Stella may get lucky and score a whole leg for dinner.
The duck fat can be strained, cooled and reused.  I put some in a jar in the refrigerator to roast potatoes and put the rest into the freezer.  It's liquid gold.


  1. A very interesting recipe! I have never tried duck in my life nor this cooking technique. I’m surprised to see there’s so much fat in a duck.


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