My decadent, luxurious, and super easy duck confit recipe uses duck leg quarters slow-cooked in duck fat until the meat is ultra-tender! Anyone can make duck confit like a professional chef with this simple recipe!
Easy Crispy Duck Confit
Duck confit is one of those dishes that’s incredibly delicious, but not many people know how simple it can be to make. Duck leg quarters are simmered low and slow in a bath of duck fat until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender!
Then, I sear the duck skin until it’s super crisp. You end up with the most delicious combination of juicy, silky meat and crispy skin that’s out of this world!
I make this confit recipe in the oven, so there’s no babysitting at the stove required! My recipe is simple and easy to follow so you can have amazing duck confit, no matter your culinary skill level!
Dry brining the duck is what helps make this dish so incredible! To dry brine, you season with salt and let the duck dry out in your fridge for about 8 hours, which helps to make the skin golden and extra crispy!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
An Elegant Dish! Duck leg confit is the best dish for Sunday dinner, date night, or any time you want a special, elegant meal!
Easy to Prepare! All you need to prep this duck is to season it with salt, let it sit overnight, and then it’s ready to cook!
Pairs with Anything! Serve the duck confit with potatoes, over pasta, or your favorite veggies! It goes well with nearly any side dish!
You’ll need enough duck fat to almost cover the leg quarters before baking. Duck fat can be found at most specialty grocery stores or even a local butcher shop! If you cannot find duck fat, other fats can be used (*see note).
- 1 ¼ pounds Duck Leg Quarters – Each quarter should be about 5 to 6 ounces. You can use fresh or frozen duck legs, but make sure to thoroughly defrost any frozen duck before using.
- ½ tablespoon Kosher Salt – You can use more or less salt as you prefer here. You can also add other spices, herbs, or garlic as desired (*see note).
- Duck Fat – The duck fat should be melted, and you want should be enough to cover the bottom of your baking dish or skillet (*see note).
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Be sure to pat the duck dry with paper towels as much as you possibly can before dry brining! It’s important that the duck skin dries as much as possible, so we get the crispiest skin on the duck leg quarters.
- Prepare duck. Start by rinsing 1 ¼ pounds of duck leg quarters, then pat them very dry with paper towels. Then, using a very sharp knife, prick the skin of the duck all over. As you’re pricking the skin, do it at an angle to avoid piercing the meat underneath.
- Season and dry brine duck. Next, salt your duck generously all over with ½ tablespoon of Kosher salt. If time allows, let the duck dry brine for 8 hours in your fridge, uncovered, on a wire rack to allow good air circulation. If that’s not an option, you can also let the salted duck legs sit on the counter at room temperature for at least 40 minutes, or up to an hour.
- Simmer duck in duck fat. For this recipe, do not preheat your oven. After the duck has dry brined, place the salted duck leg quarters skin side up in a baking dish or oven-safe skillet. The duck may be close enough to touch but should not be overlapping. Next, add enough melted duck fat (or other fat, *see note) to the dish, so that the legs are almost fully submerged. Then, place your duck legs in the center rack of the oven, set your oven to 300°F (150°C), and bake for 2 hours.
- Finish duck confit. Once the duck confit has been baking for 2 hours, remove the duck from the oven. Then, take the duck leg quarters out of the fat and set the fat aside (See Note). To brown and crisp the skin, you can increase the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C), or pan-sear the duck confit skin side down over medium-high heat until crisped to your satisfaction.
Serve this succulent duck confit with your favorite sides for an impressive dinner! Try easy steamed carrots or roasted asparagus, tender noodles tossed with butter (or more duck fat), or even rich dauphinoise potatoes for the most deliciously indulgent meal ever! Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Don’t have access to duck fat? You can try other fats like bacon fat, tallow, or even a good cooking oil. However, duck fat is the most preferred for this recipe.
- Save the duck fat for more confit. You can use the duck fat at least 2 more times to make more duck confit! After 2 uses, taste before using, taste before using as it will eventually become too salty.
- Use the duck fat to make other recipes. Enhance recipes like gravy or roasted potatoes with duck fat! For longevity, it’s best to strain the fat before storing. I usually pour it through a cheesecloth and discard any coagulated fat. Strained duck fat will keep for 6 weeks when strained and kept in an airtight container.
- Add extra flavor to your duck confit. You can add whole garlic cloves, peppercorns, cloves, or fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage to add more delicious flavor to your duck confit!
- Be sure to use a pan deep enough for the duck. Use a baking dish or skillet that will allow the duck to be fully submerged in fat. Leave a little room on top so that fat doesn’t spill over when cooking.
- Place duck on wire rack to dry brine. If you don’t have a wire rack for dry brining, place the duck on top of a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
You can refrigerate cooked duck confit for up to 1 month in an airtight container. They should be fully submerged in fat to keep the duck moist.
Excess fat can be stored in another airtight container for up to 6 weeks.
You can freeze the duck confit, again submerged in fat, and in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 to 6 months. Make sure you defrost the duck in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Reheating Duck Confit
To reheat the duck confit, place the duck and its fat in a baking dish and cook at 300°F (150°C), for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fully reheated. If you’d like to re-crisp the skin, I recommend pan-searing the duck leg quarters in a skillet, skin side down until the skin has become golden and very crisp.
🥩More Easy, Elegant Dinner Recipes!
- Pan Seared Duck Breast
- Pan Seared Lamb Shoulder Chops
- Slow Cooker Boneless Leg of Lamb
- Air Fryer Filet Mignon
- Pan Seared Sea Bass
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- 1 ¼ lbs duck leg quarters (5-6 ounces each)
- ½ tablespoon Kosher salt (more or less, as needed)
- duck fat (melted, enough to cover the bottom of your baking dish or skillet - *see note)
- To begin, rinse your duck legs and pat them dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, prick the skin of the duck all over. Do this at an angle to avoid piercing the meat underneath.1 ¼ lbs duck leg quarters
- Salt your duck generously all over. If time allows, let the duck dry brine for 8 hours in the fridge, uncovered, on a wire rack for good air circulation. If that's not an option, set the salted duck legs on the counter at room temperature for at least 40 minutes, or up to an hour.½ tablespoon Kosher salt
- For this recipe, do not preheat your oven. Place the salted duck legs skin-side-up in a baking dish or oven-safe skillet. They may be close enough to touch, but should not be overlapping. Add the melted duck fat (or other fat, *see note) to the dish so that the legs are almost fully submerged.duck fat
- Place your duck legs on the center rack in the oven and set the heat to 300°F (150°C). Let them bake for 2 hours.
- Remove your duck confit from the oven. Take the duck legs out of the fat and set the fat aside (*see note). To brown and crisp the skin, you can increase the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C), or pan-sear the duck legs skin-side-down over medium-high heat until crisped to your satisfaction.
- If you don't have duck fat on hand, other fats you can use include bacon fat, tallow, or cooking oil. However, duck fat is preferred.
- Refrigerate cooked duck confit for up to 1 month in an airtight container with enough fat to cover the legs (they should be fully submerged).
- Save the duck fat, it can be used at least 2 more times to make more duck confit! After that, taste it before using it as it will eventually become too salty.
- You can also save the duck fat to use later in other recipes. For longevity, it is best to strain the fat before storing. I usually pour it through a cheesecloth and discard the lumps of coagulated fat. Strained duck fat will keep for 6 weeks when strained and kept in an airtight container.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!