Chinese-Style Duck Confit

Recipe by P48422
READY IN: 24hrs 40mins




  • Combine the peppercorns and salt in a heavy skillet and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until the salt turns off-white, about 5 minutes.
  • Adjust the heat so the peppercorns do not burn, but expect them to smoke.
  • Let the mixture cool slightly, then run through a spice grinder or food processor until you get a very fine powder.
  • Sieve to get rid of any husks from the peppercorns.
  • Set aside.
  • Sprinkle about 1/3 (about 1 tbl.) of the pepper-salt generously over the duck legs, massaging it well into the skin.
  • Save the rest of the pepper-salt for another use.
  • Put the legs in a zip-lock bag or a glass container covered tightly with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • Let come to room temperature before cooking.
  • Heat a large heavy casserole over moderate heat until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water on contact.
  • Add 2 tbl.
  • of the duck fat and swirl to glaze the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the duck legs in a single layer and brown on both sides.
  • Adjust the heat so the skin browns without scorching and drizzle in a bit more fat if needed.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and carefully drain off any burned fat.
  • Return the pot and seared duck legs to moderate heat.
  • Add the duck fat and the confit seasonings.
  • Nudge the legs from the bottom while the mixture comes to a gentle simmer, then adjust the heat so that the fat does not boil.
  • Simmer uncovered until the duck is very tender at it's thickest part and almost falling off the bone, about 40 minutes.
  • Use tongs to carefully transfer the legs to a shallow container.
  • Let the fat cool until tepid, about 30 minutes, then carefully strain over the duck legs.
  • Discard the solids.
  • Arrange the legs so they are completely submerged in the fat, and place, uncovered, in the refrigerator.
  • Once the fat congeals, cover the container tightly.
  • In this state, the confit can be stored for 1 day to 2 weeks before using.
  • To serve, warm the container over low heat or in a slow oven until the fat turns liquid, then remove the legs.
  • Strip the legs of skin, then pull the meat from the bone in shreds.
  • Discard the skin, bones and any cartilage.
  • The meat is best when just taken from the bone, but you can store it in the refrigerator in shreds, just warm to room temperature before using.
  • You may have to adjust the seasonings with more pepper-salt.
  • The seasoned duck fat can be frozen indefinitely.
  • Strain through several layers of dry cheesecloth to trap excess pepper-salt, then seal and freeze for your next batch of confit.
  • On the second go-round you won't need to season the duck fat, but you will need to add 2 cups of fresh duck fat to the pot in order to cover the same amount of legs.