This duck confit is relatively quick and easy compared to the traditional method. The duck legs are marinated overnight and then they're browned and slowly baked for 3 hours total.
This is a shortcut recipe, but the duck legs come out tender and delicious in a fraction of the time. Serve the duck with a potato gratin or roasted potatoes.
- 4 large duck legs
- 1 tsp salt (kosher)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1/2 tsp thyme (dried or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves)
- Optional: 2 juniper berries (crushed)
- 1 large bay leaf (crumbled)
- Optional: 1 cup duck fat
- Place the duck legs in a shallow baking dish or pan. They should fit in without crowding.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, thyme, crushed juniper berries, and crumbled bay leaves. Rub the duck legs all over with the mixture.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- When you're ready to cook the duck, heat the oven to 325° F.
- Pat the duck legs with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Do not rinse. Place the duck legs, skin side down, in a large, heavy oven safe skillet over medium heat. Cook them for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side, until browned and you have plenty of rendered fat. In a 10- or 12-inch iron skillet, you should have about 1/4 inch of fat. Add more duck fat if you need it.
- If the skillet is not oven safe or isn't large enough to fit the legs, move the legs and fat to a baking pan just large enough to fit. Cover the skillet or baking pan tightly with foil. Bake for 2 hours.
- Remove the foil and continue baking, with the legs still skin and fat side up, for 1/2 hour. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and continue baking, skin side up, for another 30 minutes.
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