Foolproof Cheater’s Confit
Say “duck confit” and we think white tablecloths, fancy wine and obscene prices. It’s never something you’d make at home, right? This foolproof cheater’s confit is here to prove otherwise. Yep, it’s got a long total time—but most of that is completely hands-off baking in the oven. Plus, it uses way less added fat. Try the recipe with duck legs or chicken legs (if you buy frozen duck legs, thaw them completely first).
4 chicken or duck legs (about 2 pounds)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup unsalted butter
8 garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
2 heads endive, leaves separated
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup dill sprigs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the Duck/Chicken: Pat the legs dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, allspice and coriander. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the legs.
2. Place the legs, skin side down, in a large oven-safe skillet (they should fit snugly). Add the oil and butter to the pan. Place the garlic cloves and herb sprigs in the fat, nestled between the legs. Place the skillet over medium-low heat until the fat begins to bubble, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely, cover and transfer to the fridge overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Unwrap the skillet and bake for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
4. Remove the legs from the skillet and transfer to a baking sheet, skin side up. Raise the oven temperature to 425°F.
5. Return the legs to the oven until the skin is golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. While the duck or chicken cooks, strain the fat—it’s immensely flavorful and can be used for other cooking. Reserve the garlic cloves, too—they’re now garlic confit.
6. Make the Salad: Place the endive, parsley and dill in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mustard. Gradually add the olive oil, whisking to combine; season with salt and pepper.
7. To serve, divide the salad between each plate and place one leg next to the salad.