Duck Confit with White Beans and Leeks

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Confit—duck cooked very slowly in its own fat (or in this case in whatever fats you can scrounge together to cover the legs)—can be used in so many ways, but I’ve always loved it with fragrant leeks and creamy white beans. You’ll have some duck left over to experiment with: Try some in a simple pasta dish with lots of herbs and a touch of stock and cream, or shred it and mix with the rendered fat and more salt and pepper to make rillettes to spread on toasts as an appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) duck leg quarters (thigh and drumstick together; about 6 quarters)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Big handful fresh thyme sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • cups (360 ml) fat, such as duck fat, schmaltz, or olive oil, or a combination
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup (120 ml) white or rosé wine
  • About ½ cup (120 ml) chicken stock or water
  • 2 (14- to 15-ounce/400- to 430-g) cans white beans, drained and rinsed, or about 3 cups cooked and drained white beans
  • 3 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and torn

Method

Morning

Put the duck legs in the slow cooker and season with teaspoons salt and several grindings of pepper. Nestle them into the cooker in two layers, tucking in the thyme sprigs. Pour or dollop the fat over everything. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Morning or Evening

Cut the leek in half lengthwise and rinse well under running water, fanning the layers to get all the sand out from between them. Cut crosswise into ¼-inch (6-mm) slices. Thinly slice the garlic. Put the leeks and garlic in a container and refrigerate if doing this in the morning.

Evening

Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove half of the duck from the fat in the cooker and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large deep skillet or sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the fat from the cooker over medium-high heat. When it starts to sputter, add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender and beginning to stick to the skillet, about 3 minutes. Pour in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, then add the stock, beans, and sun-dried tomatoes, lower the heat to medium, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Pull the meat from the duck bones in bite-size pieces, discarding the bones and skin; you should have about cups (175 g) meat from half of the legs. Add it to the beans, season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and add a little more stock or water if the pan seems too dry. Cook to just heat through, then transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with a few fresh thyme leaves, and serve.

When you have a moment after supper, pull the meat from the remaining duck legs and put it in a container. Cover with fat skimmed from the liquid in the cooker, put the lid on, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.