Duck leg confit is a traditional French cooking method that involves salting and cooking duck legs in fat. This process preserves the meat in the days before refrigeration. Once cured, the legs are cooked for a long time at a low temperature, producing extremely tender meat that easily falls off the bone.
This method of preserving food was particularly important before refrigeration was common. In fact, a lot of small jars filled with all types of confit stored in the cellars are still available in Gascony, which is France’s southwest region. It is easy to make your own confit, although it takes time. But, if you want to take the easy route, purchase the canard confit. A good duck leg confit recipe offers you the basics needed for conquering confit at home.
Cooking with Duck Confit
Duck confit is quite tender so it can be shredded and served over salad, on bread, or in stews. The rich flavour will improve vegetables and works well with any type of potatoes. The classic way to enjoy duck confit is to warm it, either skin side down in a pan with duck fat or crisp it under the broiler.
While duck confit will give an extra dimension to any dish, below are some ideas to enjoy duck leg confit:
- On salad. After crisping duck confit in the oven or on a grill, it can be shredded and used on a salad.
- With beans. A duck confit with lentils is an all-time favourite. Serve French green lentils over creamed sorrel or spinach.
- Shredded confit can be centre of attraction in many kinds of sandwiches. Try it with your favourite barbecue sauce.
- With cabbage. Put duck confit in a pot with shredded cabbage, chicken broth, white wine. Bake this all for about one hour.
After you cook duck confit, strain the fat into a jar and place it in the fridge. You can use the fat in many other ways such as for roasting potatoes, sauteing vegetables like mushrooms or green beans, or spreading on toasted bread. In fact, the fat can make a tasty addition to shortcrust pastry for quiches and tarts.
How to Serve
Duck confit is a rich, wintery dish that pairs well with accompaniments such as lentils, red cabbage, celeriac, and kale. You can also pull the meat from the bone and use it in filled pastas or pies. There is truly an unlimited number of ways to eat and cook duck confit.