Duck Leg Confit
Recipe by Mon Ami Gabi
Wow your guests at your next dinner party with Mon Ami Gabi’s Chef David Koehn’s exquisite Duck Leg Confit. Chef David brightens up this traditional French dish with a sweet glaze of stewed apricots that complements the slow-cooked duck legs and velvety white beans. Plus, if you’re not up for the full cooking challenge, Chef David offers tips on purchasing premade Duck Confit.
Duck Leg Confit
With Northern White Beans and Stewed Apricots
Serving Size: 6
DUCK CONFIT INGREDIENTS
• 6 duck legs*
• ¾ cup Kosher Salt
• 2 ground bay leaves
• 1 Tbsp ground peppercorn
• 2 Tbsp sugar
• 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
• 6 cups rendered duck fat*
• pinch of espelette pepper (save for serving)
• freshly picked thyme for garnish (save for serving)
*Chef note: visit your local butcher store for duck legs. If not readily available, most butchers are able to place an order for duck legs. You can purchase duck fat at a local European store or butcher, canola oil is a good substitute.
• 3 Tbsp duck fat
• 1 ½ cup fennel, small dice
• ¾ cup onion, small dice
• ¾ cup white wine
• 2 qt chicken stock
• 1 qt northern white beans, 1 cup dry beans previously soaked for 24 hours, or at least overnight
• 4 thyme sprigs
• 1 bay leaf
• ½ tsp black peppercorn, whole
STEWED APRICOTS INGREDIENTS
• 1 ½ qt dried apricots, chopped in half
• 1 tbsp mustard seed
• 8 cups water
• ½ qt sherry vinegar
• ½ qt champagne vinegar
• 1 qt sugar
DUCK CONFIT METHOD
1. Combine the kosher salt, ground bay leaves, ground peppercorn and sugar for the cure mixture.
2. Cure the duck. Trim excess fat and season duck on all sides with the cure mixture and let it sit uncovered in refrigerator overnight.
3. The next day, rinse the duck legs and place cured duck legs in a dutch oven.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Cover duck legs in melted duck fat or canola oil as a substitute.
6. Cover the dutch oven and place in oven to cook for 2 ½ hours at 350 degrees*
*Chef’s Note: Once cooked, there will be a small aqueous layer under the layer of duck fat, this is commonly referred to by chefs as “duck jelly.” This is great to save for later and incorporate in other dishes for an added rich and umami flavor. If you plan to do so, completely cool the duck overnight before removing the aqueous layer.
Visit your local specialty store or European grocery store for premade Duck Confit, it’s also been seen at some Whole Foods!
NORTHERN WHITE BEANS METHOD
1. Sweat the fennel and onion in duck fat (substitute with butter if needed) until lightly caramelized.
2. Add the white wine and reduce until almost evaporated, so the mixture is glazing the bottom of the pan.
3. Add in the chicken stock and bring everything to a boil.
4. Tied together in a sachet, add in thyme, the bay leaf and peppercorn.
5. Add in the beans.
6. Reduce to a simmer, cook very gently on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the beans are soft but not falling apart.
7. Once finished cooking, season beans with 2 tablespoons of salt to help retain the beans’ structure.
8. Let beans cool completely overnight before using*
*Chef Note: beans can be prepared up to 5 days in advance
STEWED APRICOTS METHOD
1. Toast mustard seed and put in a sachet of musselin or cheese cloth tied with twine.
2. Bring sugar, water, champagne vinegar and sherry vinegar to a boil and ensure that sugar is dissolved.
3. Add apricots to the liquid and stew gently on low heat until the liquid reduces to a syrup that is able to just coat the apricots, about 20 minutes.
1. Bring 3 cups of the stewed apricots, 1 ½ cups of beans, 1 ½ cups of liquid from beans, 6 Tbsp of whole, unsalted butter and a pinch of espelette pepper to a boil to create a glaze.
2. Garnish glaze with freshly picked thyme.
3. Sear duck leg skin side down in a pan with ½ - ¾” of duck fat on medium heat.
4. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until crispy before flipping to heat through on the other side for 1 minute.
5. Finish duck with flaky salt and place over the stewed apricots and bean glaze.