Duck Confit

Duck Confit

Northern Michigan Recipe: Local poultry guru and Great Lakes Culinary Institute Instructor Chef Bob Rodriguez shares a recipe for duck confit. Move aside turkey, it's time for a new bird to step up to the plate. The French got it right when they introduced duck confit into the world—succulent meat, crispy skin, and flavor through and through. If you want to try a new recipe this holiday season, duck confit makes the perfect poultry substitution that even kids and die-hard turkey-fans will fall in love with. Serve with lentils and arugula for a classic preparation, or with whatever strikes your fancy!

See this recipe in the October 2012 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine!


  • 5 pounds duck legs
  • 72  ounces (9 cups) rendered duck or chicken fat
Cure Mix:
  • 3 ounces kosher salt
  • 2 ounces light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon quatre épices (mixture of 1 teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ground
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 black peppercorns


Trim the legs of excess fat and reserve fat for rendering. Combine ingredients for cure mix in a stainless steel mixing bowl and rub thoroughly over duck legs. Place duck legs in a stainless steel pan, press with a weight, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days. Remove cured duck legs from refrigerator, rinse under cold water and pat dry. In a medium saucepan warm rendered duck or chicken fat over low heat until liquefied. Place duck legs in a large stock pot, cover with fat and simmer on medium-low heat for two to three hours until legs are fork tender. Transfer confited duck legs to a stainless steel hotel pan, cover with fat and cool. Store in refrigerator. Before serving heat 1 tablespoon duck fat in sauté pan over medium-high heat, add duck legs and cook until crisp on the outside and heated through. Serve with braised lentils and arugula.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski