Honey-roast confit of duck

Honey-roast confit of duck

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 50 mins plus 24 hrs chilling and cooling

More effort

Serves 4

This hearty French classic combines meltingly tender meat with crispy skin, and can be made well in advance - perfect for dinner parties

Nutrition and extra info

  • duck only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal503
  • fat30g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre0g
  • protein40g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves roughly chopped
  • 2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves roughly chopped



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 2 fat garlic cloves, lightly bashed
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 duck leg (about 800g)
  • 750g duck fat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sunflower oil, for covering the duck, if needed
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

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

  • 4 tbsp clear honey


  1. Mix together the thyme, rosemary, garlic and peppercorns with 2 tbsp flaky sea salt. Tip half into a large baking dish, top with the duck legs, then sprinkle over the remaining salt and massage well into the duck. Cover with cling film and chill for 24 hrs.

  2. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Take the duck legs out of the dish, wipe off the salt mixture with kitchen paper, then set aside.

  3. Melt the duck fat in a flameproof casserole dish until just bubbling. Add the bay leaves and duck legs, and bring to a gentle simmer. The legs should be completely covered, so top up with olive oil if needed. Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 2 hrs 30 mins.

  4. To check whether the duck is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of a leg – it should go in easily. Leave the duck to cool in the fat. Can now be chilled for up to 2 weeks. While the duck cools, make the Puy lentils & pancetta (see Goes well with, right).

  5. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Lift the duck legs from the dish, scrape off the fat and place, skin-side up, in a shallow roasting tin.

  6. Spoon 1 tbsp honey over each duck leg and roast for 25-30 mins until the skin is browned and sticky. Serve with the Puy lentils & pancetta.

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Comments, questions and tips

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14th May, 2016
Very tasty and the skin comes out nice and crispy. Used about half the salt in the recipe. Not entirely sure it's worth the waiting time though and I matched it with the pancetta and lentils (for which I think I needed more pancetta).
30th Oct, 2015
Despite the ludicrous comment from whats4t, this recipe is fantastic. The duck just melted and works really well with the panchetta / puy lentils (see Goes well with). Lovely with asparagus and a nice Cotes du Rhone ;-) Make sure a lot of the salt is removed though as found ours to be quite salty but think we may have used too much salt in the first place as only made the 2 duck legs and not 4 but prob did 1 1/2 tbs of salt. Will know next time.
4th Nov, 2014
why on earth would anyone want to "submerge" duck in fat to cook it? Surely duck contains enough natural fat. Ughh .
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