Confit de canard recipe

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A classic French duck recipe, confit de canard or duck confit is duck breast cooked and preserved in fat. Serve with roasted or fried potatoes for a simple, yet delicious meal. Note that the duck must be prepared a day ahead before cooking and then has to be left to ripen for at least one month.
Preparation time: 1440 minutes, Cooking time: 120 minutes, Serves: 6 - 8 


2 ducks (or 4 sets of thighs and drumsticks)

Kosher salt (4 tsp per pound of duck)
2 tsp peppercorns, crushed
4 small onions, minced
1 bay leaf, crumbled
3 Tbsp minced parsley
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 garlic cloves, sliced

1 cup water
1/2 garlic head, halved and stuck with 2 cloves
2 quarts rendered poultry and pork fat
2 cups duck fat or pork lard for storing the confit


Prepare the duck
Cut the ducks and separate the thighs and drumsticks. Cut and trim as much fat as possible from all pieces of the duck (from the thighs and drumsticks too).

Render the duck fat
Finely chop the duck fat (you can also use a food processor to grind it) and put it into a saucepan with a cup water. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes. Strain the rendered fat and reserve.

Prepare the duck for refrigeration
Cut each of the breasts into halves, leaving the wings attached. Roll the duck pieces in the salt and place them in a large glass or stainless steel bowl. Combine the chopped onions, crushed peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, thyme leaves and garlic into a ball. Sprinkle the duck pieces with the chopped onion, herbs and spices mixture and season with the remaining salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Cook the duck
Remove the duck pieces from the bowl and rinse well under cold water, making sure to remove the salt and spices. Heat the rendered fat in a large cooking pot over medium high heat and add the duck, the water and the garlic head with the cloves. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the duck flesh falls off the bone.

Store the duck confit
Remove the duck pieces, strain the cooking fat and reserve. Pour about a cup of the cooking liquid in each of the jars you will use for storing the confit. Divide the duck pieces among the jars (make sure you do not compact the jars) then cover completely with the remaining cooking fat. Cover the jars and chill until the fat is solid. Cover each jar with an extra layer of melted duck fat or pork lard, cover tightly and store in a cold place or inside the refrigerator. Let it ripen for at least one month. The confit can be kept for up to six months.
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