Confit Duck Legs

Photo by Robert P.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    large head garlic, left unpeeled, plus 4 large cloves, divided

  • 1/4

    cup kosher salt

  • 1

    tablespoon finely chopped thyme

  • 1

    teaspoon Quatre épices (French four-spice blend)

  • 2

    large shallots, finely chopped (1/4 cup)

  • 2

    Turkish bay leaves or 1 California, crumbled

  • 6

    fresh Moulard, Muscovy, or Long Island (Pekin) duck legs (5 pounds total)

  • 2

    whole cloves

  • 5

    (7-ounce) containers rendered duck fat

Directions

Mince and mash 4 garlic cloves to a paste with a pinch of kosher salt. Stir together paste, kosher salt (1/4 cup), thyme, quatre épices, shallots, and bay leaves in a large bowl. Add duck legs and toss to coat, then marinate, covered and chilled, at least 1 day and up to 2 days. Wipe off marinade with paper towels. Trim off 1/4 inch from top of garlic head, then stick 2 whole cloves into head. Melt duck fat in a wide large heavy pot over low heat, then cook garlic head and duck legs, uncovered, over low heat until fat registers approximately 190°F, about 1 hour. Continue to cook duck, maintaining a temperature of 190 to 210°F, until a wooden pick slides easily into thighs, 2 to 3 hours more. Transfer duck with a slotted spoon to a large bowl (reserve garlic for another use if desired). Slowly pour duck fat through a fine-mesh sieve into a large crock or deep bowl, leaving any cloudy liquid or meat juices in bottom of pot, then pour strained fat over duck legs to cover by 1 inch. (If necessary, shorten drumstick bones 1 to 2 inches using a large heavy knife to fit legs more tightly in bowl.) Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then chill, covered, at least 8 hours. Just before serving, remove duck from fat (reserve fat for another use, such as frying), scraping off most of fat, then cook, skin side down, in a large heavy nonstick skillet over low heat, covered, until skin is crisp and duck is heated through, 15 to 20 minutes

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