What is confit? Confit is a French word that means “preserved,” and is a method of slow cooking food – and storing it – in fat. This renders tough cuts like duck legs more tender, and when stored in duck fat in a cool place, they last all winter. The meat that has been through this cooking process is also called confit, as in duck leg confit or confit of goose.
This method of food preservation was of particular importance before refrigeration was common.
In Gascony, the Southwest region of France, you’ll still find many small jars filled with confit of all kinds stored in the cellars.
It’s very easy to make your own confit, but it is time consuming. Our recipe for rabbit leg confit gives you the basics needed to conquer confit at home. If you want to take the easy route, buy duck leg confit or our new chicken leg confit at dartagnan.com.
How to Cook with Duck Confit
Because it is so tender, duck confit can be shredded and served over salad, in stews or on bread. Its rich flavor will enhance vegetables, and works well with potatoes of all kinds. The classic way to enjoy it is to simply warm it, either skin side down in a pan with duck fat, or crisp it under the broiler. We like it in this Sheet Pan Duck Confit with Roasted Green Beans & Fingerlings recipe.
Confit will add a dimension to just about any dish, but here are a few ideas for enjoying duck leg confit.
Duck Confit on Pasta: Choose your favorite pasta, and add a serving of shredded duck confit on top, or toss the duck with pasta for duck confit carbonara. Add a fried duck egg on top – with a runny yolk – for the ultimate pasta.
Biscuits and Gravy with Duck Confit: A comfort food classic becomes even more delicious with shredded duck confit.
Duck Confit Shepherd’s Pie: Swap out chicken in pot pie, or beef in shepherd’s pie, and use duck instead. Nothing says comfort like duck confit in a pie!
Duck Confit Hash: Grated or sliced potatoes browned with duck fat in a pan are the perfect nest for shredded duck confit.
Duck Confit Sandwich: Shredded duck confit can serve as the center of attraction in many types of sandwiches; try it with your favorite BBQ sauce or in our Vietnamese-style duck confit bahn mi recipe.
Duck Confit with Beans: A particular favorite is duck confit with lentils. Get French green lentils, often called lentilles du Puy, if you can find them. Serve over creamed sorrel or spinach.
Duck Confit Nachos: Use duck meat instead of ground beef and layer into nachos for your next game day treat.
Duck Confit with Greens: Steam spinach or sauté Swiss chard in duck fat, and stir with a little duck confit.
Duck Confit with Cabbage: For a savory meal, place duck confit in a pot with shredded cabbage, white wine, and chicken broth and bake it all for about an hour.
Duck Confit on Salad: Crisped in the oven or on a grill, shredded duck confit is perfect on a salad. Our recipe for Crispy Duck Salad with Thai Chile & Lime Dressing is bright and refreshing.
There’s really no end of ways to eat duck confit. Tell us about some of your favorite ways to cook with duck confit here, or on social media. We love to see your photos, so feel free to post them! Tag @dartagnanfoods on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.