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Slow Cooked Duck Legs

Michael Rodriguez Aug 18, 2006 01:58 PM

This is so simple I'm embarrassed. Anyway, lately I've been cooking duck legs in a slow oven (250 degrees) for three hours. I rub the legs with a mixture of salt and toasted Sichuan pepper a day before cooking and leave them in the fridge. During roasting the fat all melts away, leaving only a lovely crunchy skin structure and very succulent meat.

I trim all the excess skin and fat from the legs and grind it with some beef chuck to make delicious hamburgers.

  1. c
    cheryl_h Aug 18, 2006 02:01 PM

    This sounds wonderful, a kind of confit. Why don't more Americans eat duck?

    5 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h
      Will Owen Aug 18, 2006 07:25 PM

      I think unless you live where there's a large Asian population you won't find fresh duck legs in the markets, or anything other than frozen Long Island duckling. Frozen legs were becoming available by the time we left Nashville, and here in LA all the 99 Ranch and other Asian markets have fresh ones for really cheap. And Yes, I do a LOT of confit!

      1. re: Will Owen
        cheryl_h Aug 18, 2006 07:39 PM

        Agree that fresh duck isn't widely available but our local supermarkets sell frozen duck. I read somewhere what our national consumption of duck is and it was around 4oz per person per year. I find that number quite amazing.

        1. re: cheryl_h
          Bostonbob3 Aug 18, 2006 07:45 PM

          //our national consumption of duck is around 4oz per person per year.//

          I've got more duck than that in my beard whiskers.

          1. re: Bostonbob3
            Phoo D Aug 20, 2006 06:29 PM


          2. re: cheryl_h
            ponocat Aug 20, 2006 05:22 PM

            I love duck and cannot find good ones in the frozen food section of the supermarket, let alone fresh. I recently have been ordering ducks from Grimaud Farms and then freezing them myself. They are truly excellent. They also sell legs confit, but making it oneself is better.

      2. b
        Bostonbob3 Aug 18, 2006 02:16 PM

        Mmm, confit. I do both a duck and a lamb version. Just cover the meat in its fat (duck fat for duck, goose fat for lamb because lamb fat is kind of rank), then put in a 200 degree oven. Lamb for abuot six or seven hours, duck for about three or four depending on the parts used.

        Good God it's great food.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Bostonbob3
          Will Owen Aug 18, 2006 10:33 PM

          Do you use shanks for your lamb confit?

          I actually think there would be nothing wrong with using good lard for the lamb, unless of course you don't do pork. A lot cheaper, though not really easy to find non-hydrogenated these days.

          1. re: Will Owen
            Bostonbob3 Aug 20, 2006 04:11 AM

            I usually use lamb shoulder for confit, but have done it with shanks on occasion. In fact, one of the best confits I ever had was at a Quebec restaurant, and they used shank. As for lard, I suppose it would work fine, but good Lordy, I do love the goose fat. :)

            1. re: Bostonbob3
              rootlesscosmo Aug 20, 2006 04:56 PM

              Where do you get goose fat? Sonoma Poultry Co. here has duck fat but I've never seen goose fat for sale commercially.

              1. re: rootlesscosmo
                Bostonbob3 Aug 20, 2006 05:23 PM

                I get it at an amazing butcher/specialty shop called Savenors, here in Boston (Julia Child used to shop here). You can also get it online:


        2. l
          Leper Aug 20, 2006 05:43 PM

          Michael, I suggest you consider using your duck with Mario's duck pasta recipe. (It's in his Molto Italiano cookbook.)
          It's become one of my favorite pasta dishes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Leper
            rootlesscosmo Aug 20, 2006 07:47 PM

            I completely agree. It's particularly fantastic on home made pasta made with half semolina, half whole wheat flours.

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