This is the way I made this classic French confit recipe, another one of those gourmet French specialties, where legs of duck are slowly cooked in its own fat until tender, then stored in the same fat.
The French word confit means “preserved” or "preserving" a variety of meats like-goose, duck, pork, deer or ….horse if you wish. In the same way they do with pork meat in Romania. When I was serving in the army, my parents used to send me a package every month -during the winter times - with jars filled with meat covered in fat.
I cure the duck legs over night with salt and I cook them very slowly covered in a lot of duck fat and some more spices. After it has been prepared, you can eat it right away or store in the refrigerator covered in its fat for up to two months.
It is actually one of the oldest method to preserve food because once cooked it can stay fresh for a long time protected under the fat.
Making duck confit is not complicated even though it takes a bit of time-about 2 days.
With my mix of spices this recipe deviates from the classic one, but is one of the best confit we ever tasted.
Confit of Duck for 10 people:
10 duck legs
20 garlic cloves
3 kg of duck fat
500 g coarse salt
3 chilies, sliced
4 sticks of cinnamon
3-4 star anises
10 juniper berries
3 bay leaves
20 allspice seeds
20 black pepper corn
1 pot of fresh thyme
Peels from 3 oranges
Into a big tray sprinkles the legs with the salt evenly over all sides, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Wash the legs to remove the excess salt and pat dry on kitchen towels. Place the legs in a casserole or a tray, putting the legs skin side up. Add the garlic cloves, cinnamon sticks, chilies, thyme, star anise, orange peels, juniper berries, allspice, bay leaves, black pepper, and enough fat to cover the legs and place the pan in the oven. Cook uncovered, until the meat is very tender and has shrink away from the bone, around 2 hours.
The fat can be reused several times until it becomes too salty.
Here is some different way I serve this French specialty. I use some of the fat when I heat the confit, but I also use it to cook vegetables or potatoes or for other dishes to give a delicious aroma from the duck and spices.
Here I served with mash potatoes, grilled oranges and a carrots-Cointreau-orange sauce.
Here is served with braised red cabbage and Madeira red wine sauce.
Here I reheated duck legs covered with hoisin sauce and I served them with rice and
For a starter I served the shredded meat from the duck legs into a filo pastry basket, with red onion marmalade and
cucumber ribbons salad.
Or make nice spring rolls with the meat from the confit with julienne vegetables and
serve with soy, chili ginger sauce.
Here is my beef confit were I used same recipe, but with beef entrecote and I served with smashed new potato, greens beans and mushroom cream sauce.
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