Duck Confit

It’s not as hard as it sounds!

“Confit” (pronounced “con-fee”) means “in fat”.  Basically, Duck Legs are cooked at a low temperature for several hours; their fat renders out and they are cooked, gently, bathed in fat which insulates the meat and keeps it from drying out.  The resulting meat is not fatty itself — you drain off the fat before serving — but don’t discard it!  Duck fat is delicious as “fleishig butter” — on bread, potatoes, eggs, etc.

Since duck has such a rich flavor, it pairs will with acidic and fruity sauces such as an orange marmalade, vinegar-based sauce, red pepper jelly.

Allow 1 small Duck Leg per person

  1. Preheat oven to 250F.
  2. Using a pushpin, prick skin all over (this will help the fat that is between the skin and the meat to render out while cooking).  Rub duck legs with 2 cloves chopped garlic and freshly-ground pepper.
  3. Arrange duck skin-side down in a large roasting pan or Dutch oven, and add 1/2 cup water.  Cover and cook in oven until fat renders out, about 2 hours.
  4. Carefully remove pan from oven and flip the duck pieces.  There will be a lot of fat — it’s OK!!!  Cover and return to oven until meat is very tender, about 2-1/2 more hours.  The joint should feel loose and the meat should slip easily off the bone.
  5. If you’re serving the legs whole, it’s very nice to crisp up the skin in a hot frying pan or under the broiler before serving. Alternately, meat can be removed from the bone and shredded and then used as a filling for ravioli, cabbage rolls, etc. (will be very tender)
  6. Serve with bread to mop up the fat, along with a crunchy cabbage slaw or kale salad.
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6 thoughts on “Duck Confit

    1. The fat will render out as it cooks, but if you are using breasts instead of thighs, add additional shmaltz or olive oil so you’re starting with half an inch or so of fat in the pan — the rest will render out and by the end the meat should be submerged in the fat.

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