Chef Jamie's Duck or Goose Confit

I’m not sure if you could pinpoint where confit (pronounced Kon- Fee) originated. Some say Egypt, some say Mesopotamia, but either way it is an ancient method. It’s just cured meat that’s cooked in its own fat for a long period of time.

The French really perfected the art and science some years ago. In French it literally means “to preserve”. You can definitely do this method to duck and goose legs, which tend to be a little more tough than their domestic counterparts or even chicken. The end method for wild game takes a bit longer to prep and to cook, but I think it’s worth it. That being said, you can do the same for domestic ducks and geese, but they only need to cook for half the time.

Ingredients

  • Goose or Duck Legs (4 each)

  • Curing Salt (go by each manufacture’s suggestion by weight)

  • 3 Tbsp crushed peppercorns

  • 4 Tbsp Rosemary (reserve 1 Tbsp)

  • 3 Tbsp Thyme (reserve 1 Tbsp)

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

  • 6 cloves of Garlic, minced (reserve 2 cloves)

  • 1 jar of Epic Duck Fat or 8oz of lard (at least double if you’re not doing the Sous Vide method as you want the legs covered)

  • 4-6 Shallots, diced

Directions

  1. Pluck your geese. This task is seriously not for the faint of heart… It will take a while.

  2. Cut your legs and thighs off of your geese, leaving the skin on.

  3. Wash the legs and use curing salt, sugar, and the non-reserved herbs and garlic to coat the legs and cure overnight.

  4. Pat the legs down and coat with reserved spices and garlic.

  5. For Sous Vide: Place two legs to a bag in your vacuum sealer bags with shallots and the duck fat until they’re covered (about half the jar). Seal and place in immersion cooker at 180º for at least 6 hours. Skip to step 7.

  6. For the traditional meathod: Place all legs in a dutch oven with shallots and cover completely with duck fat. Cook for at least 6 hours on your oven’s lower settings, ensuring your oil temperature stays below 275º. Higher than that and you’ll start frying the legs.

  7. Remove the legs. With either Sous Vide or the traditional way, you can eat them right away. However, if you want to get real ancient, age it in the refrigerator for a week to bring out more flavor. If you do that, just fry in a pan with duck fat until it comes to your desired eating temperature.

Glendon Allwood