Duck Confit

Try Brian Turner's classic duck confit with a rich Madeira sauce for classy entertaining
By Brian Turner
Duck Confit
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus 24 hrs marinating time
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • rendered duck fat, for cooking

For the Madeira sauce

  • 75 g butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 150 ml madeira
  • 175 ml dry white wine
  • 300 ml thickened veal stock

To serve

  • chunky chips
  • runner beans


1. Lay the duck legs on a tray and sprinkle with sea salt, chopped bay leaves and thyme leaves.

2. Cut 2 garlic heads in half and arrange around the duck legs. Cover with food wrap and leave to marinade for 24 hours in the fridge.

3. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas ½. Wash off the herbs and pat dry. Lay the duck in a deep, heavy based saucepan.

4. Add the onion and carrot and top with the remaining halves of garlic.

5. Melt the duck fat and pour over the legs. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 hours, making sure that the fat does not boil.

6. Remove the legs from the pan and place in a clean bowl. Leave to cool.

7. Strain the fat through a fine sieve and pour over the duck legs. Refrigerate for 2 days (they will keep like this for a long time if well covered with the fat). To serve, remove from the fat.

8. When you are ready to serve the duck legs, preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Heat a frying pan and lay the duck legs in, skin side up. Cook for 2 minutes, before turning over. Transfer to a hot oven and cook for 10 minutes, until hot all the way through and crisp.

9. Drain the legs on absorbent paper.

10. Meanwhile, make the Madeira sauce. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the shallots until softened but not coloured.

11. Add the Madeira and white wine and reduce by two-thirds. Pour in the thickened veal stock and bring to the boil; simmer for 5 minutes.

12. Stir in the butter.

13. Present the duck skin side up, served with chunky chips and runner beans.

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