Duck Confit with Pickled Raisins

Adapted from recipe by Dawn Perry, Epicurious

  • duck confit8 skin-on, bone-in duck legs
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more freshly cracked’
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 sprigs thyme, divided
  • 6 dried chiles de árbol, crushed, or 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, divided
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins or mixture of golden and brown raisins
    or ½ cup each dried cherries, blueberries and raisins
  1. Using the tip of a knife or the sharp tines of a carving fork, prick duck leg skin all over. Rub with garlic (slices should stick to skin) and season with 1 teaspoon ground pepper and 2 tablespoons salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F. Arrange duck skin side down in a roasting pan or large Dutch oven and add 8 thyme sprigs, 4 chiles (or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes), and 1/2 cup water. Cover pan with foil or lid and cook until fat is rendered (don’t be surprised: there will be lots), about 2 hours. Turn duck skin side up and nestle it into rendered fat. Cover pan and continue to cook until meat is very tender and bones easily wiggle when pulled, 2–2 1/2 hours longer.
  3. Meanwhile, bring vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, rosemary sprig, remaining thyme sprig, 2 chiles (or 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Mix in raisins, remove from heat, and let cool at least 1 hour.
  4. Before serving: Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Remove duck from fat and place, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet; reserve fat for another use (it will keep 3 weeks in refrigerator or 3 months in freezer; reheat and strain before using). Season duck with cracked pepper and roast until skin is brown and crisp, 30–35 minutes. Serve duck with pickled raisins.

DO AHEAD: Raisins can be pickled 1 week ahead. Cover and chill; bring to room temperature before serving. Duck can be cooked 1 week ahead. Pack duck in fat in an airtight container and chill.

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