Duck Confit the Real Parisian Way

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I will always remember the first time I had Duck Confit. My first trip to Europe as an adult was with my daughter, Maya, when she was 9 years old. We went to Paris, of course! I don’t remember which café it was—perhaps Café de Flore or another Left Bank café—where we ate outside and the little birds would come and eat the crumbs right from the tables. We didn’t know what Duck Confit was, but it sounded recognizable. And so we ordered it.

Oh! The pleasure!

It was served crispy and plain, on a plate with a few perfect haricot verts (blanched thin green beans) and a salad of frissée with a Dijon vinaigrette. Perfection! The tanginess of the vinaigrette is a perfect tonic for the melt-in-your-mouth crispy fattiness of the duck.

I later researched and learned how confit is made. Suffice it to say, you are better off buying the already confited legs at the supermarket. D’Artagnan is the only brand I’ve ever seen and it’s perfection!  I am probably the only mother in Pennsylvania whose kids ask for Duck Confit for their birthday dinners. And it’s so freaking easy. It’s the perfect weeknight meal if you don’t feel like doing much. But you do need a good solid hour to roast the legs to the right crispiness.

Duck Confit NOT from Scratch

Buy as many individually wrapped duck legs as you need (I like to make an extra to eat cold the next day!).

Directions:

1. Take duck legs out of the plastic and put them in a roasting pan.

2. Roast for an hour at 350 or 375°.

3. Serve with a salad (preferably frisée) with a basic vinaigrette made from a mixture of wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and olive oil.

Salad dressing:

  • 1 part wine vinegar
  • 1 squirt Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • 3 parts good olive oil

Emulse all ingredients and serve on top of salad.

 

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6 Responses to Duck Confit the Real Parisian Way

  1. Nikki July 25, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    I had a similar experience a couple of months ago when we went out to eat here in Stockholm. I’d heard of it, sort of, but didn’t really know for sure what it was. It was the special that night at that restaurant so several of us ordered it and oh my! It was WONDERFUL! The chef said it had slow-cooked for nearly 4 hours, I think it was. Deliciously crispy on the outside and falling apart on the inside. I won’t soon forget THAT meal!

  2. Jean Nick July 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Are the duck legs you buy pre-cooked so you just finish them in the oven? Confit is typically meat that has been cooked submerged in its own fat rather than dry roasted (also a delicious way to cook duck).

  3. Donna in Delaware July 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Typically have it when I’m in France. Perfecto! D’Artagnan does a great job with it too!

  4. Kim July 26, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    My family loves duck. I usually get it at the Asian market a la Peking duck style. Duck confit sounds delicious. D’Artagnan is now on my shopping list. Thanks for the tip, Maria!

  5. Beth July 27, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Maple Leaf Farms also offers Duck Leg Confit to buy online (White Pekin duck breed). http://www.mapleleaffarms.com/54?prod=254

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