• Step 1
    Place the duck in a dish

    Put the duck legs in a snug dish and scatter evenly with the salt mix.

  • Step 2
    Prepare for poaching

    After 24 hrs, brush any undissolved salt mix off the legs before poaching. If left for longer than 24 hrs, the legs will need to be rinsed.

  • Step 3
    Submerge into the fat

    Off the heat, submerge the duck legs into the fat. They should be completely covered so, if you need to, top up with oil.

  • Step 4
    Test the meat

    To test if the duck is ready, prod a thick piece of the meat with a skewer – the meat should be very tender and the skewer should slip in easily.

Place the duck in a dish
Prepare for poaching
Submerge into the fat
Test the meat

Confit of duck with herbed potato cakes

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  • 4
  • 5
(0 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs Plus up to 2 weeks chilling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 4

This step-by-step guide will have you making this bistro classic like the professionals in no time - the meltingly tender meat is well worth the effort

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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For the confit

  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, roughly crushed
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed or torn
  • small bunch thyme, half shredded, half left as sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, roughly chopped
  • 50g flaky sea salt
  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 jars (about 700g) duck or goose fat
  • sunflower oil (if required)
  • dressed salad leaves, to serve

For the potato cakes

  • 2 potatoes
  • small handful parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

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Launch step-by-step
  1. Mix the peppercorns, bay, shredded thyme, garlic and salt, then scatter a third of the salt mix over the base of a ceramic dish. Add the duck legs, skin-side up, in a single layer, and scatter over the remaining salt mix (Step 1, above). Cover with cling film and chill for at least 24 hrs.
  2. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Brush off any undissolved salt mix from the duck (Step 2). Tip the duck or goose fat into a large ovenproof pan and melt completely over a low heat until clear and just starting to bubble. Turn off the heat and slip in the duck legs (Step 3) – they need to be completely submerged, so top up with oil if required.
  3. Put in the oven and cook for 2 hrs or until a skewer inserted in the duck meat goes in really easily (Step 4). Leave the duck legs to cool in the fat. When cool enough to handle, lift them back into the cleaned dish they were salted in. Pour the fat back over the duck legs (Step 5), trying to avoid the duck juices at the bottom of the pan. Cover with cling film and chill for 12 hrs or up to 2 weeks.
  4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To make the potato cakes, boil the potatoes whole until just tender. When cool enough to handle, peel and coarsely grate. Mix the potatoes with 1 tbsp of the duck fat, the parsley and garlic, then season. Divide the mix into 4 and flatten into patties.
  5. Pull the duck legs out of the fat (Step 6) and place, skin-side up, in a shallow ovenproof dish. Roast for 20 mins or until crisp all over. While the duck is cooking, heat a bit more of the duck fat in a frying pan and cook the potato cakes for 5 mins on each side until golden. Sit the duck on top of the potato cakes and serve with a few salad leaves around the plate.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2013

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santapola's picture

This is my first ever disaster with a Good Food recipe. I made this dish for a special homecoming dinner for my daughter. She had been in Australia for 3 years. I followed the recipe to the letter but something is definitely wrong with this. I rinsed the legs off after the salting process even though it was only 20 hours. I also had trouble getting the skin to crisp up. I eventually had to pop them under the grill.They were certainly very tender but were so salty they were inedible. We had to throw them away. Not a cheap dish and I used top notch ingredients. Couldn't even give it to the dog. Very disappointed and it spoilt a very special dinner. Have emailed GF but so far no response.

poboy's picture

Same here. Total disaster. Duck was so salty and overdone that it was inedible.
The potato cakes were similarly unpalatable. They kept falling apart in the pan, the whole thing had to be scrapped.
Don't bother.