I’ve never known a girl who loves duck confit as much as my 6-year-old. Of course, who doesn’t love a tender fall-off-the-bone duck confit recipe — it’s just the best thing in the world. For a long time, I’ve made duck confit the traditional way, with a vat of duck fat, but unless one of my amazing friends brings me duck fat (yes, I seriously have friends that do this) I’m out of luck. But thank the stars above, I ran into a this fabulous recipe from Bon Appétit with the best duck confit hack of all time. For this simple hack, instead of finding or purchasing pounds of duck fat to braise the duck legs in, all you do is cook the duck legs in their own fat and juices. Basically, throw everything in a Dutch or French oven and walk away. A perfect way to have a delicious and impressive meal with little work.
This has now become my go-to technique for duck confit. We’re spicing things up today with a salt and five-spice dry rub to “brine” the duck before cooking and finishing off with a very simple pomegranate and pink peppercorn glaze. To make a complete meal, I’m serving it with cubed roasted sweet potatoes I made the day before and quickly sautéing them in a splash of olive oil with dandelion greens (a great substitution would be broccoli rabe, kale, or spinach). Even if you don’t follow the recipe for this dish, consider the simplicity of this duck confit technique — trust me, you won’t regret it!
5-Spice Duck Confit with Pink Peppercorn Pomegranate Glaze
Amazingly tender duck confit with a kiss of five spice served with a sweet tart peppercorn and pomegranate glaze is deceivingly simple and is perfect for a family meal or dinner party.
This easy duck confit recipe starts with a dry rub brine of salt and pepper, we’re adding Chinese five spice for a flavorful fall addition. Allow to brine in the refrigerator for 2 hours (if you’re in a rush) to 8 hours (for best results).
After washing the dry rub off and patting the duck legs dry, place skin side down in a large braising pot with a few cloves of garlic and thyme. Place in the oven and braise away.
While the duck is rendering and cooking, bring pomegranate juice and pink peppercorns to a simmer in a pot and reduce until slightly thickened. Once the duck is finished, brush the glaze on the legs and return to the oven for a few minutes to crisp up the skin.
Serve and devour. Like I said earlier, we’re serving ours with roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed greens, but rice, mashed potatoes, risotto, or other roasted vegetables like butternut squash or brussels sprouts would be fabulous as well. Cheers!
*See that Le Creuset French oven in the background there? Stay tuned because I just might be giving away one next week!
Amazingly tender duck confit with a kiss of five-spice served with a sweet tart peppercorn and pomegranate glaze is deceivingly simple and is perfect for a family meal or dinner party.
- 4 skin-on, bone-in duck legs
- 2 tablespoons Chinese five spice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 sprigs theme
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoon pink peppercorns
- Using the tip of a knife, prick duck leg skin all over. Rub with five spice, salt, and pepper. Place in a dish, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours (if you're in a rush) to 8 hours (for best results). Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to braising.
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Wash dry rub off of duck legs and pat dry. Arrange duck, skin side down, in a roasting pan, or large Dutch or French oven. Add garlic, thyme, and water. Cover and cook until fat is rendered, about 2 hours. Turn duck skin side up, cover, and continue to cook until the meat is tender and the bones easily wiggle when pulled, 2 - 2 1/2 hours longer.
- While the duck is cooking, bring peppercorns and pomegranate juice to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by 3/4 until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Once the duck has finished cooking, increase oven temperature to 425°F. Place duck, skin side up, on a rimed baking sheet (covered with foil for easy clean up) and roast until skin is crisp and browned, about 20 - 25 minutes. Brush glaze over duck legs, return to oven, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve with roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed greens (pictured), or rice, mashed potatoes, risotto, or other roasted vegetables like butternut squash or brussels sprouts.
Rendered duck fat can be saved and stored in refigerator for 3 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.