Duck Confit, the Right Way


Duck confit takes a while to prepare properly but is well worth the effort. This melt-in-your mouth duck treat will become a favorite. I buy whole ducks and then remove legs/wings whole and breasts from the bone. Always keep the skin on duck! You can easily double this recipe if you're having a dinner party. I learned this method from Chef Uriah of the Columbian Cafe of Astoria, Oregon. The breasts become pan roasted Muscovy duck (see my recipe) and the legs/wings become confit. Never roast a Muscovy duck whole: the breast comes out dry, musky, and bitter tasting.

close up view of Duck Confit garnished with small lettuce pieces on a white plate
Prep Time:
35 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 8 mins
Additional Time:
1 day 30 mins
Total Time:
1 day 3 hrs 13 mins
8 servings


  • 1 shallot, minced

  • ¼ cup evaporated cane sugar

  • ¼ cup kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 sprigs thyme, chopped

  • 4 duck legs with thighs

  • 4 duck wings, trimmed

  • 4 cups duck fat


  1. Combine shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme in a small bowl. Rub all over duck legs, thighs, and wings.

  2. Arrange duck parts skin side-up in a dish and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until the seasoning is well absorbed, 24 to 48 hours.

  3. Rinse off the seasoning and pat the duck dry. Arrange duck in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking pan. Let duck stand until it reaches room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).

  5. Melt duck fat in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles begin to form, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour duck fat over the room-temperature duck.

  6. Bake duck in the preheated oven until tender and the juices run clear, 2 to 3 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should read 135 degrees F (57 degrees C). Pour off the duck fat.

  7. Brush a grill pan with some of the used duck fat and heat over medium-high heat until smoking. Add baked duck; cook in batches until skin is crispy, about 90 seconds per side.

Cook's Notes:

Regular white sugar can be substituted for the cane sugar.

If not serving right away, let duck cool completely after baking and store in its cooking fat. Fish it out of the fat and gently warm the duck in a pan prior to crisping the skin.

Never serve wobbly-skinned confit; the crispy duck skin makes the dish absolute heaven! You can substitute the grill pan with a stainless or cast iron pan, but not a nonstick pan.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of duck fat. The actual amount of duck fat consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

554 Calories
47g Fat
5g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 554
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 47g 61%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 138mg 46%
Sodium 3103mg 135%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 59mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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