Duck confit is an old school method used to cook and preserve duck legs for use in other dishes. They’d be a perfect addition to a recipe from last year; cassoulet, gumbo or even just a salad.
½ c kosher salt
2 T fresh thyme, minced
2 bay leaves
¼ c fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 t black peppercorns
4 skin on duck legs
Enough duck fat or lard to cover
Grind the kosher salt, thyme, bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns together until you have a mossy-looking green salt mixture. Rub the salt mixture onto the duck legs and refrigerate covered for 24 hours. Do not skip this step. The salt cure helps to prevent microbiological growth on the meat.
Remove the salt-cured duck from the refrigerator, rinse the herbed salt mixture from the legs, then pat dry. Place the legs in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Preheat the oven to 190°F.
Slowly melt the extra duck fat in a saucepan over medium-low heat, then pour the fat over the duck legs until they are completely submerged in fat.
Cover the baking dish with foil, then place in the oven to braise for 10 hours. If you are unsure of whether or not your oven holds an even temperature, then you may want to include a thermometer to ensure the meat cooks at a higher temperature than 180°F, but less than 200°F.
Remove the duck confit from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Do not remove the duck from the fat; storing it in the fat helps to preserve the meat until ready for use, up to three months in the refrigerator.