I enjoy making – and eating – a proper French confit de canard. Maybe I’ll even blog about it someday. These slow-roasted duck legs are a sort of faux version. They are lighter than the real thing, but still very rich and satisfying. They are less time-consuming to prepare, though still not exactly fast food. I often make them in winter as a mid-week treat for my family, but I also served some last week on a lovely spring evening with just a fresh green salad on the side.
Whatever you do, make sure to save the vast quantities of rendered fat you will drain off during the cooking. You can use the rendered fat for all kinds of roasting and frying. My favorite use is for roasting chicken – simply rub a tablespoon or two of rendered duck fat all over the bird, sprinkle with sea salt, and be prepared for an amazingly moist roast chicken with fantastically crispy skin.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First try these lovely slow-roasted duck legs.
Slow-roasted duck legs (adapted from Simply Recipes)
1 duck leg per person
Take the duck legs out of the refrigerator and arrange in a single layer in a roasting tin. Using a sharp knife, skewer or scissors, pierce the skin of each leg all over, in at least 10-12 places. (This will help the fat to render and will make the skin crispy.) Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Leave the legs to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Without preheating the oven, put the roasting tin in the oven. Put the heat on to 150C°/300°F/gas mark 2 and cook for 2 and 1/2 hours. Drain the rendered fat into a bowl every 30 minutes or so.
Then increase the heat to 190C°/375°F/gas mark 5 and cook for another 20 minutes or until the skin is fully crispy.
Serve immediately. Any leftovers are nice shredded and added to a salad. Refrigerate the rendered fat and use within a week to cook vegetables or roast chicken.