Don’t be fooled by the name. Making duck confit is incredibly easy and simple. But it’s a slow process. Take the time on the weekend to confit a batch of duck legs and your week will be amazing. Guaranteed.
Duck confit is simply duck that has been cooked as a low temperature for a long time in it’s own fat. The low cooking temperature allows the thick layer of duck fat to slowly rendered, and pool out, creating a nice gentle cooking that results in tender, flavorful meat. You can eat duck confit hot or cold, and it’s easy to reheat up.
I make up a batch of duck confit on Sundays, and then pull out portions of meat as I need throughout the week. It’s perfect for salads, especially zingy citrus ones, like this orange and pomegranate one.
Duck Confit with Arugula, Orange and Pomegranate
- 4-6 duck legs, skin on
- 1/2 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 3 sprigs fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 3 medium yellow onions, peeled, and halved
- 1 large orange
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb argula
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- The day before, mix 1/2 Tablespoon salt with 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ground pepper. Sprinkle liberally over the duck legs, covering them completely. Place in the fridge overnight, or up to 24 hours ahead of cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 250F. Using a paring knife, stab tiny holes in the skin and all fat pockets of the duck legs. This will help the fat render and pool out.
- Arrange the duck legs skin side down in a deep cast iron pot. Scatter the thyme, sage, and halved onions on top of the duck legs. Pour over the duck fat, or if using, water.
- Place the lid on the pot, and cook for one hour in the oven. After one hour, some of the fat should be rendered, and you may need to rearrange the herbs or duck legs to get everything better submerged.
- Return to the oven and cook for another hour. After the second hour, flip the duck legs over, so the skin side is facing up. Return to the oven and cook two more hours.
- After the duck legs have cooking in the oven for 4 hours, they should be a nice dark brown color swimming in lots of rendered fat. Remove them from the oven.
- Arrange the duck legs skin side up a rimmed baking sheet (don't worry about greasing it). Set the oven to boil, and place the oven rack on the lower part of the oven. Slide the duck legs into the oven on the baking sheet, and keep a close eye on them. The skin will quickly begin to crisp up and crackle, remove them when they have developed enough color for your liking. This should only take a couple of minutes.
- To make the vinaigrette, juice half the orange and combine with the mustard, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Wisk to combine.
- With the other half of the orange, cut the peel away using a sharp knife. Slice the orange into half moons or bite-size chunks.
- To assemble the salad, toss the arugula with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Pour out a bed of greens onto the plates, and scatter with orange slices and pomegranate seeds. Serve with a duck leg on top.