Confit means to cook in its own fat, and is a popular French technique to give meat a luxuriously silky texture and herb-infused aroma. The duck is pan-fried before serving, to give the tender meat a crisp outer layer. 






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  • 4 duck Maryland
  • 500 g – 750 g rendered duck fat (enough to cover the duck)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, bruised

Aromatic salt

  • 25 g sea salt flakes
  • ¼ cinnamon stick
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 small sprig rosemary, leaves picked
  • ½ star anise
  • 1 peppercorn
  • 2 coriander seeds

To serve

  • salad of green beans, Kipfler potatoes, soft-boiled egg, grain mustard

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 8 hours

  1. For the aromatic salt, pound all the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle until crushed and aromatic.
  2. Rub the aromatic salt into the duck Maryland, then place in a dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours. Quickly rinse the salt mixture off the duck and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Preheat the oven to 110°C.
  4. Warm the duck fat in a small, heavy–based baking dish with a lid to about 85°C. Add the duck, thyme and garlic. Cover with a cartouche (a piece of baking paper cut to fit the top) and bake for 2 ½ hours or until the meat flakes easily from the bone with little resistance. It is very important not to cook the legs too quickly or they will become tough, or if you cook them for too long the legs with overcook and have an unpleasant mushy texture. Therefore, it is important to check regularly and maintain a consistent temperature.
  5. To serve, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a little of the rendered duck fat to the pan and cook the duck, skin–side down until golden and crisp. Serve with a salad of green beans, Kipfler potatoes and soft–boiled egg with grain mustard on the side.

Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.