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Duck Confit

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The duck needs to marinate overnight, so be sure to begin at least one day ahead.


Makes 12 duck legs


/2 cup coarse kosher salt


tablespoon dried thyme


teaspoons white peppercorns


bay leaves


whole duck legs (leg and thigh)


garlic cloves, peeled


7-ounce containers rendered duck fat


cup water


tablespoons vegetable oil

Step 1

Finely grind first 4 ingredients in spice mill. Trim excess fat from duck legs; place trimmings in bowl, cover, and chill. Rub salt mixture all over duck legs. Layer legs and garlic cloves in large resealable plastic bag. Seal; chill 24 hours.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 325°F. Simmer duck fat, duck trimmings, and 1 cup water in large saucepan over medium-low heat until water evaporates and simmering slows, about 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse salt mixture from duck and discard garlic; pat dry. Place duck in large deep roasting pan. Pour hot fat over. Cover with foil; place in oven. Cook until meat is tender and falling off bone, about 3 1/2 hours. Uncover; cool slightly. Transfer to refrigerator. Chill until cold. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. Keep chilled and completely covered in duck fat. Always use clean tongs to remove duck from fat in pan.

Step 3

Before using duck confit in a recipe, preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Remove duck from fat; scrape fat back into pan. Working in batches, cook duck, skin side down, in skillet 1 minute. Transfer, skin side down, to rimmed baking sheet. Roast until skin is crisp and duck is heated, about 15 minutes. Remove from sheet, keeping skin intact.


Step 4

Duck legs can be found at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores. Look for rendered duck fat in the freezer section of some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and online at or

Cooks’ Note

For easier duck confit, marinate duck overnight; rinse well. Place in large roasting pan. Pour 1 1/2 cups olive oil over, cover, and roast as directed. The confit will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. If storing longer, remove meat from bones and return to pan, making sure the oil covers the meat completely. Keep chilled.

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