Easy Classic Duck Confit Recipe

finished confit

Elaine Lemm

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Curing Time: 24 hrs
Total: 28 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1009 Calories
66g Fat
11g Carbs
89g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 1009
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 66g 85%
Saturated Fat 21g 103%
Cholesterol 376mg 125%
Sodium 10312mg 448%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 89g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 132mg 10%
Iron 11mg 62%
Potassium 516mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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 kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 2 cups duck, or goose fat

  • 12 black peppercorns

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

    marinate the duck
    Elaine Lemm
  3. The next day, preheat oven to 250 F. Take duck legs from pot and keep bay leaves. Clean off salt, thyme, and pepper with a paper towel. Do not wash. Wipe out pot, then add legs back and pour over melted duck or goose fat to cover. Add back bay leaves and place in center of oven and cook for 4 hours. The meat should be cooked through and starting to fall from the bone.

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

    cooked confit
     Elaine Lemm
  5. Strain duck fat through a fine sieve or a coffee filter. Place duck legs into a clean Kilner jar and cover with duck fat. Close lid and leave to cool, then place into refrigerator to allow fat to set. 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 jar in hot water to soften fat. Lift duck legs from their fat and place into a hot frying pan skin-side down, and cook for 3 to 4 mins. Turn 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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