Juicy, succulent duck confit drippin’ with fat
I’m ALL about an excuse to throw a fancy-pants dinner party. It’s so fun cooking a delicious meal for a group of good friends. As soon as I saw this simple recipe for duck confit on Bon Appetit, I knew another dinner party was in the cards.
If I made this recipe again, I’d definitely try harder to find duck legs. The Bon Appetit recipe recommended duck legs, and they were cooked to crispy perfection. I ended up buying packs of pre-sliced duck, as it was all the supermarket had. It turned out fine, but I’d recommend trying a butcher instead.
I also found the duck didn’t turn out quite as crispy as I would have liked. There was a lot of meat stewing away in my pot, so the duck was very juicy but lacking in crunch. Try to limit how much meat you’re cooking, so it can all lay flat on the bottom of the pot.
- salt ‘n’ pepper
- garlic bulbs
- red Thai chilli
This recipe is very set-and-forget, but there is some prep work the night before. First, stab the fat pockets on the duck. You don’t need to pierce the meat, just give the pale pockets a lil’ poke.
Next up, a dry brine. Brining is ESSENTIAL for good poultry. It’s been my secret to succulent chicken and turkey in the past, and to this duck’s fall-off-the-bone tenderness. Do not skip the brine. A dry brine is very easy. All you have to do is vigorously salt and pepper your duck. The Bon Appetit recipe recommends muddling some spices with black peppercorns and salt. But YO, I am not fancy enough to own a mortar and pestle (I wish), and I couldn’t be bothered to find the spices they recommended (sorryyy). As long as you get some sodium on your duck, you’re doin’ alright. Put the meat in a large Ziploc bag, and leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day, you’re ready to start cooking! Confit means the meat is cooked slowly in its own fat, so you’ll need about 4.5–5 hours to cook this sucker. The key here is very low and slow. Count back from when you’d like to serve dinner, and preheat your oven to 250 F.
Take your Dutch oven/big ol’ pot, and lay your duck on the bottom. Again, this is where I would have preferably done duck legs laid flat — not stacked — for a crispier end-product. Then, add garlic bulbs, sliced ginger, and red Thai chilli. Pour about a cup of water into the pot. It shouldn’t be enough to cover the meat, but just enough to submerge it.
Pop your pot in the oven, and set a timer for 2 hours. Light a candle, grab a good book, and treat yourself to a cup of tea — or a glass of wine. You’re working hard, after all!
After two hours, you’re ready to flip your duck (or stir, if you’ve got more of a stew going like I did). Once you’ve flipped the meat, wish your duck luck and send it back into the oven. Set your timer for 2 more hours. Pour another glass of wine.
Now it’s time to give the duck a roast, to get the skin nice and crispy brown. Set your oven to 450 F. Scoop out the meat with a slotted spoon and onto a baking sheet. Slide this sheet into the oven for about 15–20 minutes. Be sure to save that duck fat in your pot! You can cook with it in so many different, decadent ways.
And there you have it! Succulent duck confit might seem fancy as heck, but it’s dead-easy to cook. I served this at a potluck dinner party, with Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and plenty of wine to share.