In preparation for making Anthony Bourdain’s Cassoulet from his irreverent book, The Les Halles Cookbook, I made my first Duck Confit. Confit is a fancy French term which means cooking and preserving something immersed in fat. When you cook duck legs in melted duck fat and then let the fat cool and harden, the duck is preserved almost indefinitely. This was very easy to do and made the house smell incredible!
- 4 duck legs
- Kosher salt
- 2-3 C. duck fat, I found it in the freezer at New Seasons
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 clove of garlic
Rub the duck legs with a generous amount of salt. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Heat the duck fat in a saucepan until it’s melted. Place the duck legs into a clean casserole dish and arrange the herbs and garlic in between the legs. Pour the melted fat over them to cover. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Let the whole dish cool on the counter and then place it into the fridge. The fat will harden and encase the duck legs. To serve, dig the legs out of the fat and scrape off the excess. Heat a skillet to medium and toss in the legs. Heat them through, turning occasionally for about 6-8 minutes. The skin will get brown and crispy. Alternatively you can store them in the fridge -still preserved in their fat until you are ready to use them for cassoulet.