Succulent, delicious duck confit is a magical thing. Confit is a little time consuming but it's quite simple to make and most of the time is in the oven. Here we have a very tasty gourmet dish of duck confit with pasta and fresh lemon–very rich and flavorful!
- 2 confit duck legs (recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon duck fat (or as needed)
- Dash of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound fresh tagliatelle
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Garnish: grated lemon zest
- For the Duck Confit:
- 4 to 6 domesticated duck or goose legs
- Dash of kosher salt
- 1/2 cup melted duck fat or olive oil (for greasing)
Make the Duck Confit
Pat the duck legs dry with paper towels. To ensure crispy skin, pierce the skin of the duck legs all over with a clean needle or the tip of a sharp knife, positioning the tool at an angle so that you are piercing just the skin and not the meat.
Salt the duck legs well. Coat the bottom of a baking dish—one just big enough to hold the legs—with a thin layer of melted duck fat. Place the duck legs, skin side up, in the baking dish close together but not overlapping. Put the baking dish in the oven and turn on the oven to 275 F (do not preheat the oven).
After 1 1/2 hours, check the duck. It should be partly submerged in melted fat and the skin should be getting crispy. Turn up the heat to 375 F. Check after 15 minutes. You are looking for a light golden brown. The whole process should take about 2 hours.
Remove the confit from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before eating. Save the accumulated fat and use for cooking vegetables or other meats. If you want to save the fat for at least a few weeks, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a plain paper towel or cheesecloth into a glass container, cover tightly, and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 6 months. To store the confit, wrap well and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Make the Pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Meanwhile, pick all of the meat off the duck legs and reserve the skin. Tear the meat and skin into small pieces. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon duck fat, and the duck meat and skin. Turn the heat down to medium.
Generously salt the boiling water, then add the pasta and stir well.
Add the garlic to the sauté pan and mix well. Watch the garlic: the moment it begins to brown, turn off the heat. When the pasta is al dente, drain it in a colander, then add it to the sauté pan. Alternatively, use tongs to transfer it from the boiling water to the sauté pan. Turn on the heat to medium and toss the pasta to coat well with all of the ingredients, adding more duck fat if the mixture seems too dry. Season with pepper, add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and toss again. Taste and add the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice if you want. Serve immediately, garnished with the lemon zest.