Chinese-Style Duck Confit

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“The title really says it all - duck confit with a Chinese twist. From one of my favorite chefs, the late, but very great, Barbara Tropp, and her great cookbook, China Moon.”
24hrs 40mins
3 1/2 cups shredded confit

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Combine the peppercorns and salt in a heavy skillet and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until the salt turns off-white, about 5 minutes.
  2. Adjust the heat so the peppercorns do not burn, but expect them to smoke.
  3. Let the mixture cool slightly, then run through a spice grinder or food processor until you get a very fine powder.
  4. Sieve to get rid of any husks from the peppercorns.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Sprinkle about 1/3 (about 1 tbl.) of the pepper-salt generously over the duck legs, massaging it well into the skin.
  7. Save the rest of the pepper-salt for another use.
  8. Put the legs in a zip-lock bag or a glass container covered tightly with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
  9. Let come to room temperature before cooking.
  10. Heat a large heavy casserole over moderate heat until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water on contact.
  11. Add 2 tbl.
  12. of the duck fat and swirl to glaze the bottom of the pan.
  13. Add the duck legs in a single layer and brown on both sides.
  14. Adjust the heat so the skin browns without scorching and drizzle in a bit more fat if needed.
  15. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully drain off any burned fat.
  16. Return the pot and seared duck legs to moderate heat.
  17. Add the duck fat and the confit seasonings.
  18. Nudge the legs from the bottom while the mixture comes to a gentle simmer, then adjust the heat so that the fat does not boil.
  19. Simmer uncovered until the duck is very tender at it's thickest part and almost falling off the bone, about 40 minutes.
  20. Use tongs to carefully transfer the legs to a shallow container.
  21. Let the fat cool until tepid, about 30 minutes, then carefully strain over the duck legs.
  22. Discard the solids.
  23. Arrange the legs so they are completely submerged in the fat, and place, uncovered, in the refrigerator.
  24. Once the fat congeals, cover the container tightly.
  25. In this state, the confit can be stored for 1 day to 2 weeks before using.
  26. To serve, warm the container over low heat or in a slow oven until the fat turns liquid, then remove the legs.
  27. Strip the legs of skin, then pull the meat from the bone in shreds.
  28. Discard the skin, bones and any cartilage.
  29. The meat is best when just taken from the bone, but you can store it in the refrigerator in shreds, just warm to room temperature before using.
  30. You may have to adjust the seasonings with more pepper-salt.
  31. The seasoned duck fat can be frozen indefinitely.
  32. Strain through several layers of dry cheesecloth to trap excess pepper-salt, then seal and freeze for your next batch of confit.
  33. On the second go-round you won't need to season the duck fat, but you will need to add 2 cups of fresh duck fat to the pot in order to cover the same amount of legs.

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