We had duck for this Christmas dinner. I'm not usually a great lover of duck-meat in it's classic "breast served with a thick fatty skin" form, but my mom and I decided to try and make confit and I must say that it has totally altered my outlook on duck. It's a bit of a hassle time-wise and the whole ocean of melted fat doesn't sound too endearing to start with, but trust me it's well worth it.
2 whole ducks (we had frozen Hungarian ones but they turned out to be young and nice enough after defrosting) (or use legs only 12 in that case)
1 jar (~150g) of goose or duck fat + just in case some soft pig fat (lard)
10 cloves of garlic
a lot of sea salt or other coarse salt
some dried rosemary
Cover the ducks with salt (a good thick crust) and set aside in the refrigerator for ~24 hours.
The next day, shake off the salt, wash the ducks and pat dry.
If using whole ducks, cut them up into peaces (we did 6 peaces per duck).
Pat the pieces dry with kitchen towels and ay the pieces of meat out in a deep oven-dish. Scatter in the garlic cloves. Sprinkle with rosemary.
Preheat the oven to 100C.
Trim all the excess skin and fat from the ducks. Heat a large pan on low to medium heat and melt the fat until completely liquefied. Add the goose and pork fat if necessary (you need enough liquid fat to cover all the pieces of meat in a baking dish).
Strain and pour the fat into the oven dish, make sure it covers the meat.
Now in the recipes that I found online, it was recommended that the duck be cooked at 100C for 2-3 hours. We cooked ours at 100C in the beginning, after about 1.5 hrs of nothing much happening, my mom got extremely anxious and cranked the oven up to 170C. And then it stayed in the oven for 2 more hours. In the end the result was great. The meat literally fell off the bones as it was supposed to.
We served it with rice and a green salad made of lettuce, chopped hazelnuts, torn pomelo and a warm honey-Balsamico dressing.
And we washed it down with a lovely '99 Anjou.
I removed the skin before eating my bit, but the more salt-loving members of our family just ate the whole thing.