the Confit you can counterfeit. Don't let the title scare you. While, yes, confit does literally translate to "cooked in your own fat", it can actually be achieved with a lot less pain and frying than saving rendered duck fat for months. I've been making this dish (the easy way out) for years now and have never looked back. I used to buy tubs of rendered duck fat from specialty grocers to have on hand for this dish until one night, (which happens to most of us), I had run out and forgotten to restock. I thought the dish was doomed but turns out, I saved it, and myself, a lot of unneeded prep.
Here's What You'll Need:
2-4 duck legs
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 bag of fingerling potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
Here's How to Do it:
For duck: mix dried ingredients and pat the duck legs dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle mixture on both sides of the duck legs and arrange in a small pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours before you plan to cook them.
When ready to cook: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat (like this cast iron I inherited from my husband's grandmother, that's my most cherished possession). Place the duck legs, skin side down, and cook until skin turns a golden brown color and fat starts to render (aka, you see delicious grease-like substance all around). Once you see that golden moment, add the potatoes to the pan along with a few dashes of olive oil and salt + pepper to the tots.
Normally, this is the part where you have all of that already-rendered duck fat just lying around that you can add to the pan and let it really confit the legs, (or cook/soak till falling off the bone in its own fat). Even I, who saves every tiny portion of leftover duck fat in my freezer (I know, crazy alert!--but the next time you cook potatoes in them, you won't think it so crazy) do not even have enough to properly confit. Therefore, I do this trick: turn the oven up a little higher, and if you need to add more liquid once the duck legs are seared, then add a little oil or butter (I won't tell). If you take this approach, keep a watchful eye and baste the legs every so often so they don't dry out.
Flip the legs so they are skin side up, cover with tin foil, and roast legs for 1 hour. uncover, and Roast for another 40 min-1 hour, and then Oh, you'll know when these are ready. The skin will be perfectly crisped, the meat will be positively falling off the bone, and all of your tastebuds will be tingling. Take that, confit.
Pairs Well With
an elegant and bright pinot noir, such as this one from A to Z.