To ‘confit’ means to cook something in its own fat (or sugars) at a low temperature, slowly. Make the confit in advance, it can be stored for up to 6 months when made properly. Allow 1 duck leg per person for a starter or lunchtime meal and 2 as a main course dinner portion. Sprinkle 6 dessert spoons of salt onto 4 duck legs and refrigerate, covered for 12-24 hours. Rinse quickly with cold running water, do not immerse the legs in water. Pat dry and place in a baking tray.
KEY TIP- use a small ovenproof dish, you want the legs to fit snug into it without peaking out – I have a separate recipe for Peking duck, which I will share later.
Add a bay leaf, 4 smashed garlic cloves (leave the skin on), 6-8 peppercorns – smash these with a small saucepan. 2-3 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary, and a jar of shop bought duck fat, around 200-250 grams. Top up if necessary with neutral oil such as rapeseed to cover.
Roast at 180c for 45 minutes and then turn the oven down to 120c and roast for a further 5 hours. Cool and chill.
This is a great ‘make ahead’ recipe. The duck can be re heated on a baking tray – preferably with a wire rack, which will help the air to circulate and crisp the skin. I like this served with salad of spinach, orange segments and finely sliced red chillies or with creamy mashed potato and redcurrant jus.