Confit of duck with herbed potato cakes

Confit of duck with herbed potato cakes

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

More effort

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

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal698
  • fat52g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs26g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre3g
  • protein28g
  • salt2.1g
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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


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

    • 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)
      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil

      Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

    • dressed salad leaves, to serve

    For the potato cakes

    • 2 potatoes



      The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

    • small handful parsley



      One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped


    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.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    11th Mar, 2013
    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.
    5th Jul, 2015
    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.
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