Classic Duck Confit

This classic French duck confit will take you back to your favorite bistro meal.

Duck Confit
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless
Active Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
1 day
Total Time:
1 day 4 hrs 30 mins

Cooking duck confit may sound like something best left to restaurant chefs, but the process is simple, and results in tender, delicious meat that melts in your mouth with each bite. It's simple — just season the duck legs, then cook them slowly over several hours and you'll have a meal ready to serve with a salad, pasta, or roast potatoes. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a month, so feel free to double this recipe. And don't dare toss the leftover duck fat! Strain it, then store it in the fridge or freezer so you can scoop it out and use it to fry potatoes, sauté vegetables, or make another batch of duck confit.


  • 4 (9-ounce) duck legs

  • 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp.)

  • 12 black peppercorns

  • 3 - 4 cups rendered duck fat (such as Mary's Rendered Duck Fat)


  1. Trim excess fat from duck legs, and pat dry. Place salt, sugar, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns in a large bowl. Add duck legs, 1 at a time, and rub well with salt mixture. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 3 duck legs. Place a second large rimmed baking sheet directly on top of duck legs; refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 275°F. Scrape off salt mixture from duck legs, and rinse duck legs well to remove remaining salt mixture. Pat dry.

  3. Melt duck fat in a medium saucepan over medium, and cook until gently simmering, about 5 minutes. Place duck legs in a small Dutch oven, and carefully pour melted duck fat over duck legs, adding enough duck fat to ensure legs are completely submerged.

  4. Cover and cook in preheated oven until meat is very tender and easily pulls away from bone, about 3 hours. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour. Duck Confit may be covered and stored in duck fat in refrigerator up to 1 month. When ready to use, remove a duck leg from fat, and scrape off excess fat; ensure other duck legs are completely covered in fat before returning to refrigerator.

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