Sunday evenings in my family have always been the time that we all get together to eat some delicious food, drink some tasty wine, and just enjoy the last few hours of the weekend before we catch up on our favorite shows. (aka Silicon Valley and Veep these days).
When I was a kid, my Mom cooked for us nearly every night, and Sunday dinners were always something of legend. Those meals were always the largest and most creative and usually involved some kind of roast or chicken main dish. Now that I’m sadly no longer a kid, I’ve taken up the Sunday dinner tradition in my own home by inviting my family to come and be my food guinea pigs for whatever I feel like whipping up for the occasion.
This past Sunday I really wanted to make something with duck in it because it is always such a treat and the smell that comes out of the kitchen when there’s duck cooking is brain-meltingly good. Duck confit is essentially duck legs that are cooked low and slow in their own fat. It sounds pretty unhealthy and really heavy, but honestly the end result is delicious meat that will fall right off the bone and that is covered in the most delicious crispy skin that you can imagine. Plus, there’s always plenty you can do with that amazing leftover duck fat. Duck fat potatoes anyone?
- 6 duck legs
- 3 oranges
- 1 shallot
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- salt + pepper to taste
dutch oven or stock pot, small saucepan, baking sheet, microplane, pastry brush
Finely dice shallot. Zest one of the oranges and then juice all 3 of them. Prick the skin of the duck legs all over and season with salt and pepper.
Heat your dutch oven or stock pot on medium heat and pack in duck legs skin side down. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour. You should see a large amount of liquid in the pan at this point. Flip legs and cook on low for another hour. Flip again and cook until a paring knife inserted into the thickest part of the meat slides out with absolutely no resistance.
Once your duck reaches its final flip, heat your sugar in a saucepan on medium heat. Stirring constantly, let it melt and turn an amber color. Remove from heat and add vinegar, orange juice + zest, chicken stock, and diced shallot. Return to high heat and boil, stirring occasionally until reduced to a thick syrup. About 20-25 minutes.
When duck is finished cooking, preheat your oven to 450*F and place legs skin side up on baking sheet. Brush legs with orange sauce and place in oven for about 5-10 minutes until skin is crispy and golden brown. Your duck confit is now ready to be devoured!