Duck confit is pretty great, n'est pas? But what is the optimum time to leave your duck legs in the fat?
At 200 F, some recipes say 2-3 hours, some say 10-12. What is the truth?
Closer to 10.
Once the meat is really tender I don't know what you'd gain by additional cooking. I'd say the 2 to 3 hours. Hopefully someone with more extensive knowledge will chime in!
I am a BIG fan of the duck leg, and while I don't usually confit them, I do a low and slow - the duck and apple salad as well as the po'boy feature low and slow legs ... I find 3 hours at 225 usually does the trick. By then they are falling off the bone. That said, longer may infuse more flavor, not sure ... I would research and pull your favorite thoughts and ideas from several recipes. ps I have also done the po'boy for a crowd using a whole duck spatchcocked plus additional legs with great results ...
Gosh, I fall right in the middle here on this one. More inclined to aargersi's answer on the 3 hours, however, 7 hours is when I got my best flavor ever. Really hard call! The only advise I can offer is to salt the duck overnight and rinse.
I remember eating duck confit during my childhood and having the impression it had been comfortably seasoning itself in its own fat for months; it was part of the magic of confit for me. I just looked it up (wikipedia) and found the following: "A sealed jar of duck confit may be kept in the refrigerator for up to six months, or several weeks if kept in a reusable plastic container. To maximise preservation if canning, the fat should top the meat by at least one inch. The cooking fat acts as both a seal and preservative and results in a very rich taste."
Go for it! Its delicious.