Duck confit

  • serves 6
  • A little effort

The best recipe for duck confit. This dish, a French classic, is made easy following these simple steps. It's also a smart make-ahead meal for a dinner party.



  • duck legs 6
  • thyme a few sprigs
  • garlic 1 head, cloves separated but not peeled
  • duck or goose fat 1 jar, approx 300g


  • rock salt 3 tbsp
  • demerara sugar 1 tbsp
  • black peppercorns 1 tsp
  • thyme leaves 1 tsp


  • Step 1

    Put the duck legs in a dish flesh-side up. Mix all the cure ingredients together.

  • Step 2

    Sprinkle the cure evenly over the flesh then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, heat the oven to 140C/120C/gas 1. Take the legs from the cure, rinse under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  • Step 3

    Put skin-side up in a baking dish or tin that they fit quite snugly and tuck the thyme and garlic under and around the legs.

  • Step 4

    Gently heat the duck fat until pourable (you can do this in the container on low in a microwave, or sit the container in a small pan of hot water) and pour over the duck.

  • Step 5

    Cover the dish tightly with foil then put in the oven and cook for 3 hours.

  • Step 6

    Take the duck from the oven and allow the fat to cool a little.

  • Step 7

    Lift the duck legs carefully out of the fat. You can finish the duck off in the oven now or store it and cook it later (following step 8, below).

  • Step 8

    Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve. Leave the fat to settle then pour the fat away from any duck juices. Put the legs into a clean container and pour over the strained fat to cover. The covered duck can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for 2 months.

  • Step 9

    When you want to eat the duck, heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Scrape off the excess fat if you’ve been storing the confit, put the duck on a roasting tray skin-side up, and cook for about 30 minutes until golden and crisp (you will need to add 5-10 minutes if cooking from chilled).

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 644
  • Fat 60.4g
  • Carbs 0.6g
  • Fibre 0.1g
  • Protein 24.7g
  • Salt 1.1g