Barney's Confit of duck

Barney's Confit of duck

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins Plus salting, and cooking time is staggered

More effort

Serves 4
A classic, hugely popular recipe from France - one you can make time and time again and it just gets better

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily doubled


  • kcal636
  • fat57g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs0g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein30g
  • salt2.83g
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  • handful coarse sea salt
  • 4 bay leaves, roughly torn
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • handful thyme sprigs, roughly torn


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 4 ducks legs



    Rich and full of flavour, duck meat is extremely nutritious, with high levels of protein, B…

  • 100ml white wine


  1. The day before you want to make the dish, scatter half the salt, half the garlic and half of the herbs over the base of a small shallow dish. Lay the duck legs, skin-side up, on top, then scatter over the remaining salt, garlic and herbs. Cover the duck and refrigerate overnight. This can be done up to 2 days ahead.

  2. Pour the wine into a saucepan that will snugly fit the duck legs in a single layer. Brush the salt off the duck legs and place them, skin-side down, in the wine. Cover the pan with a lid and place over a medium heat. As soon as the wine starts to bubble, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook for 2 hours, checking occasionally that the liquid is just barely simmering. (If you own a heat diffuser, it would be good to use it here.) After 2 hours, the duck legs should be submerged in their own fat and the meat should feel incredibly tender when prodded. Leave to cool.

  3. The duck legs are now cooked and can be eaten immediately – or you can follow the next step if you like them crisp. If you are preparing ahead, pack the duck legs tightly into a plastic container or jar and pour over the fat, but not the liquid at the bottom of the pan. Cover and leave in the fridge for up to a month, or freeze for up to 3 months. The liquid you are left with makes a tasty gravy, which can be chilled or frozen until needed.

  4. To reheat and crisp up the duck legs, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the legs from the fat and place them, skin-side down, in an ovenproof frying pan. Roast for 30-40 mins, turning halfway through, until brown and crisp. Serve with the reheated gravy, a crisp salad and some crisp golden ptoatoes.

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Comments, questions and tips

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27th Aug, 2011
Very good indeed and dead easy
10th May, 2011
For goodness sake - commented ages ago and forgot to rate. I think I (maybe 'we') need a prompt?!
21st Jan, 2011
Just superb, I served my duck with James Martins Plum Sauce, it was fantastic. I was short of time and only left the duck in the salt for a few hours and it still came out perfect. My favourite dish of all time!
7th Dec, 2010
Because we live in a hot climate we are all taking a cold meat for Christmas day and I have 3 ducks to take. Would this recipe be nice served cold? Has anyone tried this cold? Any advice or alternate recipe for cold duck would be so appreciated.
28th Nov, 2010
so very-very good!I allready made this recipe several times and every time it is wonderfull.Last night I did debone and shred the duck and put it on top of saurekraut mixed with mashed potatoes ,it was great.Served cooked pears with cranberries as a side order,loveley winter meal.
8th Sep, 2010
I had never cooked confit duck before, and I loved this recipe as it was so simple. The result was absolutely delicious. As I had some blueberries in the fridge, I roasted off the confit duck to serve it nice and crisp, and I served it with a sauce made from the blueberries. Fab!
8th Sep, 2010
Good recipe! To save a day dry refrigerate for 2 days before cooking and recooking will not be needed!
20th Jul, 2010
Fantastic. Use goose legs because there wasn't any duck at the shop. Definitely doing this again.
11th Dec, 2009
Hideously salty, even though I rinsed off the salt thoroughly. Dinner went straight into the bin!
26th Jan, 2009
Baffled and perplexed as to how something this easy could taste so delicious! I popped mine in the AGA (baking oven) for 6 hours (checked after 3 and 4 hours then forgot it by mistake!!) It was fantastic, so will do again for same time. Crisped up beautifully too. I will now try again and flake meat from bones to mix with puy lentils, onions etc, for a warm salad. Can't wait to try freezing it too - above comments indicate this works a treat too!


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