Duck Confit

There’s really only one challenge in making duck confit: getting enough duck fat. Restaurants have no problem with this: they break down the ducks for duck breast dishes, which gives them lots of skin and fat for doing confit of the legs. So, in other words, if you’re going to try this, be prepared to eat other duck dishes. One other piece of bad news: you need to start this recipe days ahead. Good news: it can be a week or two ahead.


  • 2 whole ducks
  • Salt

1. Thaw the ducks if necessary. Cut them into quarters. Reserve the breasts for another dish, but remove all the skin except the part right over the breast and on the leg quarters.

2. Render the fat from all the duck skin in a skillet over medium-low heat. Coat the leg quarters generously with salt and add to the skillet. Put the whole skillet into a preheated 250-degree oven and roast slowly for two hours, or until the meat begins to fall away from the bones.

3. Place the duck legs in a deep dish and pour the fat over it. Cover the dish and refrigerate. It will hold for days or even weeks in the refrigerator.

4. When ready to serve, move the duck legs to a broiling pan and top it with all the fat you can. Place the pan into a preheated 450-degree oven until the skin sizzles audibly. Serve immediately, with a small salad of something sharp (like arugula with raspberry vinaigrette).

Serves four.

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