A true confit is a preserve where salted duck is cooked in, and then stored under, duck fat. I add extra salt as I like to keep it for a month or two before using.
- 3 kg (about 10) duck marylands
- 120 g rock salt
- 8 garlic cloves
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 20 black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 10 star anise
- 2 oranges, zested
- 1 litre duck or goose fat (see Note), warmed
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.
Chilling time 12 hours
Rinse duck marylands, pat dry and sprinkle with salt, rubbing to press into skin. Place in a single layer on a large tray, sprinkle any salt that has fallen off back onto flesh and add garlic, thyme, 10 peppercorns, bay leaves and star anise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours, then rinse off excess salt, reserving garlic, herbs and spices.
Preheat oven to 130°C. Pack duck marylands tightly in a large roasting pan and add remaining 10 peppercorns, reserved garlic, herbs and spices, and orange zest. Pour over warm duck fat; duck should be completely covered, top up with oil if necessary. Roast for 3½ hours or until meat is very tender. Allow duck to cool in fat.
To store, reheat over low heat, gently remove duck with tongs and place in a sterilised container. Completely cover duck with fat, herbs and spices. Tightly seal. Allow to cool and store in the fridge. I like to keep mine for a month or two before using, and it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months. If you are using the duck straight away, skip this step and go straight to Step 4.
To serve, carefully remove duck from fat and place on a chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Grill duck, skin side-up, for 6 minutes or until brown. Turn over and cook for 2 minutes or until warmed through, draining off any liquid fat before serving.
• Duck or goose fat is available canned from select greengrocers, butchers, food stores and delis.
Photography by Alan Benson. Food preparation by Asher Gilding. Food styling by Michelle Crawford.
As seen in Feast magazine, August 2014, Issue 34. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.