This sous vide duck confit requires little effort to prepare while cooking low and slow, yielding fork-tender meat with crispy skin.
Duck is one of those things that I usually only order at fine dining establishments, with confit being my go-to.
Because the duck is usually cooked for a long period of time, it simply melts in your mouth. It is a French method of preserving and cooking meat in its own fat if you are unfamiliar with it.
A duck confit gnocchi at The Ahwahnee Dining Room in Yosemite was one of the top five meals I’ve ever had.
WHY IT WORKS
- Duck legs become exceptionally silky and tender when cooked at a precise, low temperature.
- The small amount of fat that renders from the duck leg is held all around in the tight space of a vacuum-sealed bag, reproducing the submerged effect of the classic method without the need for copious amounts of rendered fat.
WHY A SOUS VIDE?
- Because it doesn’t require a lot of duck fat to cook. By encasing the duck in a vacuum-sealed bag, the fat is released as it cooks and then cooked, just like traditional confit.
- In addition, I’m always looking for new ways to use my sous vide machine. These sous vide egg bites were my first recipe, and I’ve been a fan ever since!
- And, while the payoff is 36 hours away, preparation is simple. So, if you want to recreate a meal at a five-star restaurant, this should be at the top of your list.
WHAT IS CONFIT?
Confit is simply the process of cooking any type of food slowly (via water, oil, or fat) over a long period of time as a method of preservation.
Common foods preserved in this manner include onion, garlic, duck, and goose.
In the case of duck confit, the duck is cooked for hours or days in its own fat, depending on the method. If that doesn’t sound delectable, I don’t know what will.
WHY SOUS VIDE VS. TRADITIONAL APPROACH
By far less expensive. Duck fat can be an expensive purchase. However, if you cook your confit in a bag, you won’t need to buy any fat and will save money.
Because the vacuum seal has a smaller space, it is easier to cook the duck in its own rendered fat.
- Duck – fresh duck legs have the necessary fat to cook in, as well as skin that gets extra crispy when seared.
- Orange – the zest’s bright, tart notes complement the duck’s fatty flavor.
- Thyme – adds a little freshness and a slightly lemon flavor that compliments the dish.
HOW TO MAKE SOUS VIDE DUCK CONFIT RECIPE (STEP BY STEP)
- The first step is to cure the duck. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Seal the duck with a vacuum. To add flavor, mix in some aromatics. Fresh herbs like oregano and thyme, as well as garlic, work well.
- Place in a preheated water bath. Cook for 36 hours at 155 degrees F.
- Complete the duck. To finish, I find that searing in a hot skillet works best for that great crispy skin. I heat my cast-iron skillet in the oven before searing the duck on the stovetop.
Duck confit goes great with everything, or you can eat it like a turkey or chicken leg.
I toss it with fresh pasta or mix it into a salad, but most of the time I just eat it as is after pinching a sample or two off for quality control.
There’s no sauce, no nothing! Consider serving with one or more of the following options:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Potato Fries
- Charred Okra
- Shaved Fannel Salad
EXPERT COOKING TIPS FOR SOUS VIDE DUCK CONFIT
- Allow your duck legs to cure in salt overnight.
- Everything revolves around cleanliness. Clean the countertops, cutting board, hands, knives, and so on. clean, clean, clean, and then some more cleaning A clean confit will last for a long time, whereas contamination of any kind will cause it to spoil.
- Garlic and/or fresh herbs can be used as aromatics.
- If serving the confit right away, sear it in a cast-iron skillet with the skin side down for maximum crispiness.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Duck leg quarters with the thighs attached are a confit favorite of mine. The same could be said for turkey, chicken, or goose.
The recommended temperature range is 140-180 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-40 hours. I cooked it at 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 36 hours, as recommended by Serious Eats. This had a buttery smooth texture and tenderness, as well as an out-of-this-world flavor.
Duck confit can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to a week. Out of fear of botulism, I limit my stay to no more than a week.
Not only does sous vide cooking produce a superior version of confit duck leg, but it is also far more convenient than the traditional method.
Easy and Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Recipe
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 d 12 hrs and 15 minutes
- Total Time: 1 d 12 hrs and 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
This sous vide duck confit requires minimal effort to prepare while cooking low and slow, resulting in fork-tender texture with crispy skin.
- 4 duck legs
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 sprigs thyme
- Preheat the water bath to 155°F and set up an immersion circulator in a large pot.
- Season the duck with salt, pepper, and orange zest all over. Place a garlic clove and a thyme sprig under the meaty side of each leg. Fill vacuum bags halfway with duck lugs and seal as directed.
- Cook for 36 hours in a water bath with a sealed duck. As the water evaporates, you will need to replenish it. To keep the bag submerged, place a wet kitchen towel on top.
- Remove the duck from the water bath and place it in the refrigerator to chill. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Remove the duck from the vacuum bag when ready to eat. Remove the thyme sprig and any excess fat. Cook the duck skin-side down in a skillet over medium-high heat (no oil required). Cook for 5 minutes on one side before flipping and cooking for another 2 minutes on the other.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, use a freezer grade zipper bag and zip almost all the way shut. Submerge the bag in water, and the air will begin to escape. Zip the bag once everything has been released.
Place wet towels on top of the duck to keep it submerged.
Water will evaporate after a few hours, so add some every few hours.
Broil for 5-7 minutes on a baking sheet until crispy to get crispy skin.
- Category: Duck
- Method: Sous Vide
- Cuisine: French
- Serving Size: 4 servings
- Calories: 316kcal
- Sugar: 12g
- Sodium: 261mg
- Fat: 16g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 24g
Keywords: Sous vide duck legs, sous vide duck confit, duck legs, confit
Inspired by: https://www.chiselandfork.com/sous-vide-duck-confit/