How do you like your duck confit?
Over the years I have had many versions of this classic French dish – Some cooked dry with intense flavors; Others plump paired with some sort of fruity sauce. When it comes to meat and poultry, I prefer a simplistic approach with non-competing flavors.
This recipe, adopted from New York Times, is super easy. All it takes is a little bit of planning ahead (24-36 hour salt curing process), and ample wait time (3 hours roasting in the oven).
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or herbes de Provence
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 8 duck legs (about 4 pounds total), rinsed and patted dry
- In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf pieces.
- Rub the mixture evenly on both sides of the duck.
- Place duck legs in a large plastic bag and refrigerate for 24 – 36 hours.
- The next day, heat oven to 325°F degrees.
- Rinse off salt and spice. Pat completely dry with paper towels.
- Place duck legs, fat side down, in a large ovenproof skillet, with legs fitting snugly in a single layer (you may have to use two skillets or cook them in batches).
- Heat duck legs over medium-high heat until fat starts to render. When there is about 1/4 inch of rendered fat in pan, about 20 minutes, flip duck legs, cover pan with foil, and place it in oven.
- Roast legs for 2 hours, then remove foil and continue roasting until the skin is golden brown, about 1 hour more.
- Remove duck from fat. Serve hot or warm with your favorite greens or root vegetables roasted preferably in the previously rendered duck fat.
Note: The duck confit lasts for at least five days in the refrigerator. To serve, reheat the legs in a 350°F degree oven until warm. Then run the legs under the broiler to crisp.