Confit of duck on a plate with roast potatoes

Confit of duck

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(26 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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29th Dec, 2017
Excellent recipe and very easy to follow. A real crowd pleaser. Will defo try again.
5th Aug, 2014
Delicious and easy - first cooking did not produce much fat but didn't matter as cooked it and used it the next day in a warm salad.
26th Nov, 2012
Only 4 stars because, it was quite salty. Like another reviewer, I did not have any fat, but stored it in the fridge for 3 weeks before I used it. Very tender, but salty. Don't think I would bother with this recipe again.
29th Apr, 2012
Really good flavour and texture. I used a lot of red wine in the gravy.
17th Mar, 2012
My family and lived in south-west france in the middle of duck and goose country. This recipe is unusual, so I am looking forward to tasting this with my wife and son for our Mother's Day dinner. I am sure from the comments above that we will be very happy with this recipe. Malcy Author of: The Marine Cookery Bible Dix-neuf, Cuisine Terroir Correzienne No Turning Back
10th Mar, 2012
Very yummy and was surprisingly easy to make! one for the binder!
22nd Feb, 2012
Delicious and so easy. We've brought cans of confit de canard back from France occasionally and this was just as good, if not better. Added bonus is the duck fat for the naughtiest most delicious roast potatoes.
18th Feb, 2012
Both times I've done this, no fat (not nearly enough to submerge the legs, at least) has been produced. I've been left only with a liquid. My only thought is that it might be because I've been unable to make the heat low enough, as I don't have a heat diffuser. I've just made it for the second time and I'm worried it'll be too tough, because the heat was high enough to make the skin appear to burn and stick to the pan's bottom. I wish I'd put it in the oven - then I probably would've been able to get the heat low enough. Saying that, the first time I made it I had similar problems yet it still tasted delicious. So I hope the same is true this time around.
27th Jan, 2012
This is a recipe I use everytime I want to confit some duck (I have used it since it was first published but misplaced the mag and by luck found it here), it is brilliant because you save a small fortune on duck/goose fat, it may not be authentic but the results are no different from the "authentic" confit I have had in France so who cares if you are eating it within a couple of days, lets face it you only use all that fat to preserve it for later use anyway. As for the comment about it being over salty I can only assume the poster didn't use rock salt as I have never found it salty as long as you brush it off thoroughly it is only there to dry out the skin.
15th Jan, 2012
The recipe works - and is mighty tasty.


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23rd Dec, 2019
The curing salt should be washed off and the meat then patted dry, otherwise there will be too much salt left on the meat.
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