Duck Confit

The best meal I ever had was Duck Confit and French Fries in Beynac, a small French town. We sat in a little cafe at the bottom of a towering cliff, topped with a castle and a medieval village. Note, the cooked duck confit will last about a month left covered in fat.

Ingredients

1/4 cup table salt
1 large onion , peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
6 medium garlic cloves
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
12 parsley stems , with leaves attached
2 bay leaves
6 duck legs
4 cups duck fat or canola oil

Method

1. Process salt, onion, garlic, peppercorns, parsley, and bay leaves in food processor until smooth paste with some small chunks forms, about 30 seconds, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. Massage duck legs with salt mixture and place in gallon-sized zipper-lock bag. Press out air, seal bag, and place in refrigerator 12 to 18 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Rinse duck legs under cold running water, rubbing off any salt mixture. Pat legs dry with paper towels. Heat duck fat in large saucepan over medium heat until completely transparent (if using canola oil, it should register about 135 degrees on instant-read thermometer). Add duck legs, making sure they are completely submerged in fat. Transfer pot to oven and cook until meat offers no resistance when poked with fork, 3 to 4 hours.

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