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Duck Confit with Braised Lentils

For a neater presentation, before cooking the duck, place the tip of a paring knife at the bone end of the drumstick and pierce through the skin. While maintaining pressure, rotate the leg to cut through the skin and create a clean cut around the bone.

Ingredients:

  • 8 duck legs with thighs attached
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 jars (each 11.2 oz.) Rougié duck fat
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • 4 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. peppercorns
  • Canola oil as needed
  • Braised lentils for serving (see related recipe at left)

Directions:

Pat the duck legs dry and place on a rack-lined baking sheet. Season the duck legs generously with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Place the duck legs in the insert of a slow cooker. Add the duck fat, garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and peppercorns. Add enough oil so the legs are completely submerged. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the meat is very tender and pulls away from the bone, 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the slow-cooker insert and let the duck legs and the cooking oil cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Transfer the duck legs to an airtight container and add enough cooking oil to cover them completely. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Just before serving, remove the duck legs from the oil and reserve the oil. Set a wire rack on a baking sheet.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 cup of the reserved oil. When the oil is hot, add the duck legs, skin side down, and cook until the skin is browned and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the duck legs over and cook until browned on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the rack-lined baking sheet to drain. Serve the duck legs warm with braised lentils. Serves 8.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.