- For the dry marinate:
- 4 duck legs
- 3 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 -8 thyme sprigs
- 3 tbsp quatre épices (four spice mix)
- 3 tbsp fine sea salt
- For cooking:
- 1 whole garlic
- 4-5 thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1.5 l duck fat
- Quatre épices:
- 2 tablespoons ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
Cut the shallots and garlic, mix them with the thyme leaves, four spices mix and salt. Rub the mixture onto the duck legs, put them in a deep dish, cover with foil and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
Take the marinated duck legs out of the fridge, remove the dry marinate pieces, washing under running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and put the duck legs in a deep baking pot, big enough to hold them, but not very big, so the duck fat could cover the meat completely.
Heat the oven to 90C (or as close to this as you can). Pour the melted duck fat over the duck legs, put the thyme, bay leaves and the garlic bulb (cut off the top of it to release the flavor and aroma). Cook the confit for approximately 8 hours (you can leave it to cook trough the night).
After 8 hours the meat has become so tender it falls off of the bones and the whole kitchen was infused with the aroma of the duck confit.
You could serve it right away, paired with some green salad and a good red wine. It's delicious by itself, warm from the oven. Or you could prepare duck rillette, which is one step further into the French cuisine depths.
Remove the skin and bones from duck legs, cut the meat finely. Put it in a bowl, add some duck fat. Add torn pieces of bay leaf, some pepper corns and mix it well. Put it in a big jar, pressing it tightly. Pour some more duck fat on top, close the jar and let it cool.
Keep in the fridge and serve with some good rustic bread, pickles, olives and lemon wedges, shallots and capers. Do not forget the wine!
It is a good idea to keep the excess duck fat in a jar in the fridge. You could use it to fry potatoes or make another duck confit?
Stir the spices together and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.