Easy Classic Duck Confit

finished confit

Elaine Lemm

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Curing Time: 24 hrs
Total: 28 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 2 servings

Duck confit is a classic of the French country kitchen, noted not only for its delicious taste but as a great way to preserve duck. Long, slow cooking of the duck pieces in its fat, then cooled popped into jars then covered in duck fat and closed with a lid, the duck will keep for up to a year this way. Come dinner time, simply open the jar, pull out the duck legs and gently heat through in a warm oven, use some of the fat to cook a side dish of duck fat fries, it is no wonder this is called French fast food.

Making your duck confit at home is easy but does take a little time as the duck needs seasoning with salt, pepper, thyme, and bay overnight pulls out any moisture from the meat, which is replaced by the fat when cooked. Should you think, this means greasy, fatty duck, no, not at all. Duck fat is unsaturated and brings a tremendous flavor to food and, of course, marries so well with - duck!

This recipe is for one pound of duck (2 medium-sized duck legs, on one large farm-raised one), which serves two with plenty of meat if you want to cook and preserve more simply multiply the recipe. For a truly authentic dish, use only duck or goose fat, which is easily sourced online unless you are lucky to have a farm close by.


  • 1 pound duck legs
  • 1/3 cup salt (kosher or other medium-coarse)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (dried, or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • 4 medium bay leaves
  • 2 cup duck or goose fat
  • 12 blackpeppercorns

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather duck confit ingredients
    Elaine Lemm
  2. Sprinkle the salt, black pepper and thyme all over the duck legs. Place into a heavy pot and tuck the bay leaves in. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.

    marinate the duck
    Elaine Lemm
  3. The next day preheat the oven to 250 F. Take the duck legs from the pot and keep the bay leaves. Clean off the salt, thyme and pepper with kitchen paper. Do not wash. Wipe out the pot then add the legs back and pour over melted duck or goose fat to cover. Add back the bay leaves and place in the centre of the oven and cook for () hours. The meat should be cooked through and starting to fall from the bone.

    cover with duck fat
     Elaine Lemm
  4. Once cooked lift the legs from the duck fat onto a plate.

    cooked confit
     Elaine Lemm
  5. Strain the duck fat through a fine sieve or a coffee filter. Place the duck legs into a clean Kilner jar and cover with the duck fat. Close the lid and leave to cool then place into the refrigerator to allow the fat to set solid. The confit can now be stored as detailed below.

    confit in a jar
     Elaine Lemm
  6. To reheat the confit when you are ready to eat it. Gently warm the jar in hot water to soften the fat. Lift the duck legs from their fat and place into a hot frying pan skin-side down, and cook for 3 - 4 mins. Turn the legs over, skin side up and place in a hot oven until heated right through - about 20 minutes.

    Confit in a jar
     Elaine Lemm

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