Sage Duck Confit

To confit or not to confit? Is there anything better? For those that don’t know what confit is, it translates in the culinary world as a way to preserve food and is one of the oldest preservations methods practiced. Duck is the most popular food to confit and with it having the most flavorful fat, it is the most ideal. I love a good confit duck and I will show you how I do it. Our first step is to “cure” the duck legs; if you have broken down the whole ducks to do to get the legs then make sure to trim all the fat off that you can visibly see. Save the breasts with the skin for a later date.  Place all of the fat that you trimmed off in a pot over low heat until all of the fat has rendered off. This fat will be used to cook the duck legs. Please note that this is a large recipe and can easily be cut down.

Sage Duck Confit

4oz Salt

2oz Brown Sugar

.5oz Parsley

1oz Sage

.25oz Oregano

.25oz Thyme

1.5oz Garlic

8ea Duck Legs

AN  Duck Fat (to cover legs)

Duck Curing Mise en Place

  • Place all of the ingredients except for the duck legs in a food processor and pulse until you achieve a green salt.

Herb Salt

  • Next, sprinkle a generous amount of the cure into the bottom of a dish that can hold all of legs without them being stacked. Then, toss the legs with the remaining mix and lay the legs into the dish. Sprinkle any leftover herb salt on top.

Curing Duck Legs

  • Place a piece of plastic or parchment paper on top of the duck legs followed by another dish roughly the same size. Then, add about three pounds of weight; refrigerate the duck legs for six hours.

Duck legs with weight

  • This process in curing/preserving is very important as it helps remove the excess liquid inside of the duck that could cause it to go sour.
  • After the six hours are up, rinse all of the duck legs and pat dry with paper towels. Preheat your oven to 250°F, I used a conventional (no fan) oven.  Place the duck legs in a baking pan, melt the duck fat and pour it over the duck legs, ensuring that they are completely submerged.
  • Place a piece of parchment over the dish then a piece of foil and seal it around the edges.
  • Put the duck in your oven and set the timer for 10 hours.
  • No magic ovens here, once the time is up, carefully peel back the foil and paper to see if the duck is tender, if it is not then cook it for another two hours.
  • To serve, I like to let the duck cool for 20 minutes then sear the skin in a hot pan, you will not need any oil since there is duck fat stuck to the leg. Sear the leg over low-medium heat and serve with your favorite sides or just eat as is.
  • If you are saving the meat for a later date you can put the whole pan, fat and all, into the fridge and it will last for a couple of weeks.  You can also put it into the freezer and it will last for a few months or longer but why would you let such a product sit there when it could be enjoyed?

Duck confit removed from the fat, just needs some crispy skin.

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