duck confit with braised lentils

John Torode’s duck confit with braised lentils

  • serves 6
  • A little effort

This may take a little longer than your average recipe, but John Torode's duck confit is well worth the wait. Most of the work is done well in advance, making this a great dinner-party option.



  • cumin seeds 1 tsp, dry roasted
  • coriander seeds 1 tbsp, dry roasted
  • rock salt 100g
  • thyme a small bunch
  • juniper berries 3, crushed (look in the spice section)
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • duck legs 6
  • goose fat or duck fat about 700g (look for it in tins or jars)
  • bay leaves 2
  • black peppercorns 1 tsp

braised lentils

  • olive oil
  • red onions 2, finely chopped
  • celery 1 stalk, finely chopped
  • carrot 1, finely chopped
  • garlic 3 cloves, crushed
  • thyme a handful of leaves
  • red wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • Puy lentils 300g
  • tomatoes 5, quartered
  • flat-leaf parsley a handful, chopped


  • Step 1

    Start the day before. Crush the spices lightly and mix with the salt, thyme, juniper berries and garlic. Rub the mixture over the duck legs and leave for 24 hours, turning twice.

  • Step 2

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Wipe the duck well with kitchen paper (don’t wash) and pat dry. Cover with goose fat, Add the bay and peppercorns and cook for about 3 hours, or until the meat is almost falling away from the bone. Leave to cool in the fat and chill.

  • Step 3

    To make the lentils, heat a slug of oil in a heavy pan and gently sweat the veg, garlic and thyme until just soft. Add the red wine vinegar and lentils. Cover with water then bring to a gentle simmer. Add the tomatoes and simmer very gently until tender with a little bite. Stir the parsley through.

  • Step 4

    When you want to serve the duck, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Take the legs out of the fat, scraping most of it away. Put them skin-side up on a roasting tray, then cook for 30-40 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve the duck legs with the lentils.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 917
  • Fat 69.4g
  • Saturates 18.8g
  • Carbs 31.5g
  • Fibre 6.4g
  • Protein 43.7g
  • Salt 0.89g