Crock Pot Confit

Duck confit is one of my favorite foods and I’ve been making it the same way for 20 years. I have always felt it was too much work to make at home, but we make 50-100 legs at a time at Park Avenue Catering. So, I take a few home now and then.

Then came the moment of enlightenment! My friend Sue was telling me how she cooks duck legs in a crock pot and all of a sudden I realized how brilliant and easy it would be to make confit at home.

Confit is “preserved” by salting it and storing covered in it’s own rendered fat (which you discard as you re-warm or crisp it). I use duck confit on it’s own, served warm with a tomato and olive oil salad. I use it in pastas, or as a filling for raviolis, and in soups. There are endless uses for flavorful duck confit.

And when it comes to wine, it pairs well with many wines due to its richness and slight saltiness. Of course, it depends on what you serve with it, but I could easily recommend Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Chianti, Beaujolais, Red Rioja, Cabernet Franc, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Bordeaux, even full-bodied sparkling wines.

Salt rub:

  • 2 teaspoons  Juniper Berries
  • 1 Tablespoon  Bay Leaf, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons  Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper, Ground
  • 2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
  • 2 Tablespoons Oregano

Combine herbs and salt and grind together.

12 each duck legs

Toss the legs with the salt rub. Place in a baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Rinse the legs to remove the excess salt and pat dry. Place legs in crock pot, packed tightly. Pour in 1/4 cup of water and turn on to low setting. Let cook covered on low for 8 hours. By the time it is done, the legs will be simmering, covered in the rendered duck fat. A few legs might float on top and that is OK.

Turn off the crock pot and gently remove each leg with a slotted spoon, being careful not to break the skin. Place all legs in a glass baking dish in one layer, then pour the rendered fat over the legs. Allow to cool and then refrigerate until you are ready to use.

To use the confit, remove one leg at a time and carefully wipe off as much of the fat as you can. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven to render off the rest of the fat and to crisp the skin. This will take 20-30 minutes.

If you just want to use the meat, you can render it in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the skin and bones and use the meat in pasta or what ever other recipe you choose.

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