with Rebecca Kelley
1/2 c. sea salt
1/4 c. thyme leaves striped from the branches
one whole bulb of garlic, minced
2 t. ground black pepper
5 duck legs (I get them from Greens Eggs and Ham at the Crossroads Market)
2 lbs. duck fat (ask your favourite butcher)
Combine all the ingredients for the salt rub in a mortar and pestle and grind them into a paste. Generously rub the salt mixture into the flesh side of the duck legs, then place them in a roasting pan or a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Remove the legs from the fridge and brush off as much of the salt mixture as you can, then wipe the pieces so they are completely dry. (You do this because you don’t want to “poach” the duck legs – you want to confit them.)
Arrange the duck legs in a baking dish and pour the melted fat over. Make sure the flesh is completely covered. Place the confit in the oven and cook for 4-5 hours, or until the flesh flakes away from the bone. Remove the confit from the oven. Remove the legs from the fat and eat them, or if you want to preserve them for later use, put the legs into a jar or a dish where you can competely submerge them in the fat, then refrigerate. They will keep in the fridge for up to six months if they are completely submerged in the duck fat. If pieces aren’t completely submerged, eat them right away, or tuck them into the fat.
Duck confit is delicious eaten right away or eaten later. Bon appétit!