While this preparation for duck takes several hours or even overnight, it is definitely a dish that can be made well in advance of your dinner. It is a classic French preparation, it is very traditional and it is also actually pretty simple to make. I just crisped the duck at the last minute and served it with a generous spoonful of Spicy Pickled Raisins, Creamy Whipped Potatoes and a delicious Port Wine reduction.

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  • Course Dinner, Duck
  • Cuisine French
  • Keyword Christmas, Cold Weather, Elegant, Fall-Winter, Flavor, For Foodies, Holiday, New Years, Special Dinner
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4 people 10 minutes 7 hours
Passive Time Total Time
7.5 hours
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4 people 10 minutes 7 hours
Passive Time Total Time
7.5 hours
Degree of Difficulty
Moderately difficult
  • 4 whole duck legs
To Confit the Legs
  • 2 whole cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 sprigs thyme or 2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 cup duck fat
Spicy Pickled Raisins
  • 3 sprigs thyme or 2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Asian chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp brown or golden mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup dark raisins
Port Wine Sauce
Servings: people
  1. Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe.
  2. Pre heat oven to 250°
  1. Transfer duck to a large roasting pan. Prick the skin of the legs of the duck with a sharp knife or fork. Season well with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Rub the legs with sliced garlic and then lay the duck legs skin side down on top of the sliced garlic. Liberally sprinkle with dried thyme. Spoon duck fat over and around duck legs.
  2. Cover duck with parchment paper then cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil and set the pan on a sheet pan and bake for about 6-7 hours to render the fat and cook the duck.
  3. After 3 hours, flip the legs so that they are skin side up and bake for another 2 to 3 hours, or until the legs are very tender and bones easily jiggle when they are moved. The duck can be prepared to this point at least a week in advance. If preparing ahead, allow the duck to cool, cover the pan with cling wrap and store in your refrigerator until ready to finish. To melt the duck fat, place the pan in a 150° oven until the duck fat liquefies.
Spicy Pickled Raisins
  1. While the duck is baking, measure 1 cup of water plus the other pickling ingredients, except the raisins, and add to a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and stir until the sugar has totally melted. Mix in the raisins and remove from heat, cover with a lid, and allow to stand for at least one hour. This can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
  1. Combine port wine, sauce espagnole, demi-glace and black currant jam in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Generously seasons with cracked black peppercorn. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce has been reduced by half, about 30 minutes.
  1. Pre heat oven the 400°
  2. Remove duck from fat and place on a rack over a sheet pan. Season the duck with cracked black pepper and roast for about 30-35 minutes, or until the duck has become a golden brown and the skin is crispy.
  3. Transfer duck to a serving plate and garnish with a generous amount of pickled raisins.

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