Cast Iron

Duck Confit

September 18, 2014
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 2 confited duck legs
Author Notes

Apply this method to any tougher cuts of meat, and they'll be fall-off-the-bone tender. t —Cara Nicoletti

What You'll Need
  • 2 duck legs (thighs attached)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (maybe do 1/4 teaspoon if you don't love black pepper)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced fine
  • Leaves of 4 thyme sprigs, chopped fine
  • 2 cups rendered duck fat
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  1. Using a safety pin or a needle, prick the skin of your duck legs all over (try not to poke into the meat, just poke the skin). Rub your duck legs with salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme, place them in a small glass dish (a glass loaf pan works), cover, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.
  2. After 24 to 36 hours, preheat your oven to 200° F.
  3. Heat your duck fat in a saucepan until just melted (don’t get it hot, just melt it).
  4. Once it’s melted, remove it from the heat allow it to cool slightly. Pour fat over the seasoned duck legs until they are completely submerged. Throw the bay leaf into the fat, cover the dish with foil, and cook for approximately 4 hours, or until the meat is easily pulling away from the bones.
  5. After four hours, carefully remove the duck legs from the dish with a slotted spoon. Strain your fat through a fine sieve or cheesecloth, discarding all solids and reserving the fat (or keep the fat to spread on bread). Place duck legs back into cooking vessel and cover in strained fat. Let cool at room temperature for about an hour before refrigerating for 8 hours.
  6. Right before serving, remove legs from fat, scraping off excess, and cook in a cast-iron skillet, skin-side down, for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is heated through and the skin is crispy.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sunnycovechef
  • EmFraiche
  • My Mother's Son
    My Mother's Son
  • Cara Nicoletti
    Cara Nicoletti
Cara Nicoletti is a butcher and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Cara started working in restaurants when she moved to New York in 2004, and was a baker and pastry chef for several years before following in her grandfather and great-grandfathers' footsteps and becoming a butcher. She is the writer behind the literary recipe blog,, and author of Voracious, which will be published by Little, Brown in 2015. She is currently a whole-animal butcher and sausage-making teacher at The Meat Hook in Williamsburg.

6 Reviews

JohnSkye October 11, 2014
any substitute(s) if you can't get the duck fat????
My M. January 1, 2015
We buy duck fat from Amazon
Sunnycovechef September 20, 2014
Duck confit is my favorite food. I use it in different recipes like duck confit quesadillas. Lately I have been lazy and not made my own. It is a fun project. I cook a goose for Christmas and keep the fat for the confit. Mmcdaniel, Whole Foods was selling duck fat around the holidays.
mmcdaniel September 19, 2014
Alas, I always wonder where to get the 2 cups of duck fat...
Cara N. September 20, 2014
it can be frustrating, I know! lots of butcher shops and some specialty grocers will sell quarts of rendered duck fat which will keep in your freezer forever.
EmFraiche September 19, 2014
Sounds delicious! I wish there was a picture of the final product. =)