At least 24 hours before cooking:
Mix together all the ingredients (except the duck legs and duck fat) in a bowl, making a salt mixture
Add the duck legs and coat each one with the salt mixture
Gently massage the salt mixture into the meat
Cover bowl with clingwrap and chill for a minimum of 24 hours
Making the confit:
After at least 24 hours, remove the duck from the fridge and rinse each one thoroughly to remove the salt mixture. Using a tea towel, pat the duck dry
Place the duck fat in a pan large enough to contain all four duck legs
Gently heat the duck fat until it melts from a solid to a liquid state
As soon as the fat reaches a liquid state, add the duck legs, making sure they are completely covered by the duck fat
Bring the fat to a slow boil, allowing the temperature to peak at 100 degrees Celsius. The liquid should release the occasional bubble or ripple but no more. You want to maintain a constant temperature, otherwise your duck will overcook
Poach the duck legs gently for 3.5 hours
Remove the duck legs and place in an appropriate container for storage
Allow the duck fat to cool and pour over the duck legs, again making sure they are completely covered
Allow the fat to solidify, cover and store. You can keep the duck legs for up to six months in the fridge
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
When you are ready to prepare your confit, take the duck legs from the container and remove any excess fat (which can be retained for making the most excellent roast potatoes)
Heat a wide frying pan and gently fry the duck legs on each side for six minutes until golden brown and crisp on each side
Place in preheated oven for 10 minutes to heat through completely
Great with a some mushroom and lemon lentils or simply with some creamy mash, green beans and a red wine or balsamic reduction.
Recipe reprinted with permission of The Muddled Pantry. To see more recipes, please click here.