Confit de canard is slow-cooked while completely covered in duck or goose fat. It produces meltingly rich, falling-off-the-bone tender meat. Simply roasting a duck won’t get the same results. Then the leg is finished by searing it under a broiler or in a hot pan to crisp up the skin.

Ingredients Needed to serve 4

Duck Confi:

  • 4 Whole Muscovy Duck Legs
  • Kosher Salt to sprinkle on legs
  • 1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1/3 to 1/2 Cup Crushed Garlic (to your taste)
  • 1 Lb. Duck Fat or Manteca (Pork Fat)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Lentil Cassoulet:

  • 2 cups of Le Puy Lentils
  • 1 Onion; Diced
  • 1 Carrot; Sliced
  • 8 oz Cured Pork Belly; diced
  • 1 Bouquet Garni
  • 2 Cups Red Wine
  • Dash White Pepper

You may use a crock-pot or La Creuset Iron Skillet for preparing this dish.  I find the crock-pot a bit more convenient in this case.

Preparation: Time Necessary: 1 day ahead and about 8 hours Day 1 (Day prior to serving): Lightly sprinkle duck legs with kosher salt. Place in a container, add all other confit ingredients, cover and put in refrigerator overnight.

Day 2 (Day of serving the meal): In a crock-pot, place the duck legs from fridge with all seasonings but none of the juice in and cover with duck fat. Bring to boil, then decrease heat and simmer for 6-7 hours until meat falls off the bone. The confit is now ready.

While the duck is simmering (after 3-4 hours) cook the lentils. In a 2 quart sauce pan, place 2 spoonfuls of fat from the cooking confit and the diced cured pork and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and carrot and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves, wine, pepper, and bouquet garni. Cook on medium low heat for about 20 minutes. Add water if necessary for texture. Once finished, salt to taste. It is important to add the salt at the end or the lentils will not cook as soft. Finish lentils with a generous piece of butter and parsley.

To Serve: Pull duck leg from the fat. Crisp under the broiler for a couple of minutes until slightly crunchy on outside. Dress legs on lentils and serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: Traditionally you can also top the Duck Leg with Garlic Butter. Once the Confit is cooked you can debone it and serve it in many variations including atop a bed of greens as a salad.