I planned on making the recent cassoulet recipe posted here, but cannot find confit duck legs in any grocery store. Would regular duck legs suffice?

I was thinking of crisping the skin a bit in a cast iron skillet before adding it to the beans for the last 2 hours in the oven.

  • Posted by: alicia
  • January 24, 2016


amysarah January 24, 2016
In Essential Pepin, Jacques Pepin's recipe for cassoulet includes duck, not duck confit. Like Greenstuff said, he also notes that it's originally a country "peasant" dish, with as many versions as cooks, not all with confit - and he knows a thing or two about "authenticity" ;) I don't know if the recipe is online, but maybe. (Great cookbook, btw.)

Or alicia, do you have access to a Costco? I saw duck confit there the other day, vacuum packed.) I know I was a bit surprised to see it there.
alicia January 25, 2016
I think Costco is a town over. Never would have imagined they see duck confit though. :D
Greenstuff January 24, 2016
Here's a very long but interesting article by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats. He not only uses fresh poultry, he uses chicken rather than goose or duck. As, I've said, there are a zillion recipes for cassoulet; probably about half a zillion have some claim on being authentic. Let us know what you end up doing, alicia.
Greenstuff January 24, 2016
Whoops, forgot the link http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/10/how-to-make-cassoulet-chicken-food-lab-french-casserole.html
alicia January 25, 2016
Thanks so much for the advice and articles. After referencing, cross-referencing, pondering with pursed lips, I rendered some of the fat out of the duck legs in my trusty cast iron, then putting them into the beans after the first 2 hours. As much as doing confit at home would be fun, I didn't quite plan for it.
Exbruxelles January 24, 2016
No, not really. And if you're going to go through all the trouble to make cassoulet, you want to be rewarded when it's done.

You can fairly easily make your own confit duck legs. And if you want to cheat: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/cheaters-duck-confit-recipe.html
Greenstuff January 24, 2016
There are a zillion cassoulet recipes out there, some of which don't include any confit at all. If you make yours with fresh duck legs, you may not be as authentic as some, but you can have a delicious meal. You'll want to crisp them up, as you've planned, not just for the crispiness but also to render some fat. Two alternatives--if you really want a project and have access to additional duck fat, consider making your own confit. It's not hard. Or, buy the confit mail order. That's pretty easy too.
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