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Confit de Canard Recipes

Cooking instructions and recipes for confit de canard (duck confit), gesiers and duck confit cassoulet

What is it with Confit de Canard & Chefs!?

Surely making good meals & profits are key…?

I have had another mini-round of discussions with another business who insists that my Confit de Canard (Duck Confit) is not for them because they prefer to make fresh. Why? Surely the objective of a pub or restaurant (what’s the difference these days?) is to serve good food and to make a profit. So why go through the agony of making Confit de Canard and then serve it “fresh”?  The whole point is that it’s preserved, ready to re-heat when you need it.

Why not concentrate on the deliciousness that’s already built into preserved duck (which is what Confit de Canard is, after-all) and make a delicious potato dish (say Sarladaise) and maybe a sauce (I made an apple sauce last week which was fabulous and balanced the savoury duck flavours to a treat*), serve a  delicious meal and enjoy the margins…

If I were in charge of a restaurant, I’d love my chef to have something special in the larder at about £3 a person at cost price, that I could serve as a featured dish or a “special” and sell for £ high teens or over £20. The chef’s labour plus the cost price of fresh duck and enough fat to make it, must outweigh the cost of a tin many times, surely? Given that the sell by date is two or three years away, it’s ideal. Put Confit de Canard on the menu, have lots of very happy customers and if the chef wants to be a star make delicious potatoes (with the duck fat from the tin) and sauces. If you sell less than multiples of four (i.e. per tin) add the spares to the specials board the next day (one, two or three only).

What possesses a proprietor to allow a chef to make their own unless they’re very so very fancy (and selling it for £30 or £40) or he can definitely make it better than the preserved duck – which is unusual. They use ham don’t they and that’s preserved – not fresh.

OK rant over…

* I must take a picture and write down the recipe for our recipe pages – in the meantime it was apple slices, orange juice (just to cover bottom of pan, golden syrup and I used Goji berries (mainly for a colour highlight). heat until the apples caramelise and serve. (About 10-15 minutes on medium heat.)

If you like French cooking & French things in general ~ you’ll love this site

Confit de canard, Turkey, Coq, etcetera…

Mouth~watering duck confit recipes and photos

I have just discovered a new website called ckenb.blogspot ~ not a name to conjour with but a glorious celebration of Francophilia ~ especially cooking… It’s actually labelled “Living the life in St Aignan” but that’s not the name of the site as such.

I have just left several comments about his recipes (and the fact that you can buy duck in the UK from us) and my mouth is still watering from all the recipes and photo’s ~ both of which look fantastic. Well done Ken…

Ken seems to write everyday which is an enormous task and still has the time to get out and about around France and to markets and cafes and generally enjoying the life. He recently went to a Chinon winery ~ next door to the one I was at, round about the same time.  Maybe our paths crossed?

Duck Off: Part Two with Salade de Gesier to Start

Now It’s The Turn For Confit de Canard The Old fashioned Way…

Last week I told of the Confit Duck Off part 1 when Judy cooked us the superb confit de canard her way. then I had the chance to do it my way. Of course the pressure was on and I didn’t get it 100% – but that was only because I didn’t have petits pois. So I got about 95%… maybe more.

What went down really well was the confit de canard gesier salad – pretty much as described on the confit de canard recipe page. That got me intop the contest. I cooked the duck from the tin as always – also see the recipe page – and made pretty good potatoes but as I say there were no petits pois. My dear lady wife made a red sauce (the missing ingredient I remember now as orange juice; about the same amount as each of  the  fruit and the wine). This was pretty good even though I was a bit purist about it.

Anyway, I’d already decided to give Judy the prize for her confit de canard, the wekk earlie. The medal was duly presented.

There is supposed to be a  confit de canard “Duck Off #3” soon at the pub wheeere the chef reckons his is pretty good too… Watch this space.

Duck Off! Confit Cooked in Olive Oil, Cranberry Sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes

Confit de Canard Home Made vs. Canned Tournament

This duck confit news is a bit late now… it all happened a couple of weeks ago when we met an old friend who also happens to be a great (lady) chef .  We started to discuss confit de canard, as you do, and she said she made her own. Now regular readers will know I’m not impressed with home made (or rather restaurant house-maid) confit de canard. I once had three meals in France in a row, each confit duck, and the two that were made in-house were poor. This was mainly because they weren’t cooked enough, in my humble opinion.

Duck Off: Round One…

So off we went up the road (don’t let me forget to tell you about the snow and the skid on the way home!!!) to the home of the friend’s friend who was hosting round one.  Judy, the chef was calm as a calm person with everything under control and after a drink or two dinner was served.

I immediately awarded Judy the Duck Off Prize Medal… Beautifully presented, beautifully cooked (see below) and an amazing cranberry sauce on Duphinoise potatoes. All fantastically delicious.

Judy's excellent confit de canard, albeit cooked in olive oil!

Judy’s secret was that she cooks the duck in olive oil which strictly speaking isn’t confit de canard, which I believe means that it’s cooked in it’s own fat. Having said that it was miles better than the above-mentioned French restaurant versions. So hats off to our English chef for the best home made duck confit I’ve eaten!

The sauce was approximately half a pound of fruit, half a pound of red wine and something else I’ve forgotten. It’ll come back to me… look out for Duck Off: Round Two and my competitive effort… PS Orange juice…

PS I lost my mobile so I had to get a new one and took these pictures with the protective plastic still over the lens. Oops… that’s why I played around with the one above. very “painterly”.

Parmentier de Confit de Canard

New Confit de Canard Recipes…

Picture courtesy See link below

Always following the trail of anything duck confit, I found a few recipes for Parmentier de confit de canard this week. It’s been likened to Shepherd’s Pie with duck but for our benefit the main ingredient is four cuissses de confit de canard.

The full list of ingredients are…

4 pieces de canard confites (one tin – for under £10 available here)
2 onions
2 Shallots
10 small potatoes
2 spoonfuls of crème fraîche (or butter/cream))
Milk (or/butter for mash)
Salt/pepper to flavour (watch the salt in the duck bit, concentrate on the potatoe parts for salt!)

Other recipes

  • add parsley or coriander. Mmmm.
  • use turnips or swede for bulk
  • use a pinch of nutmeg (noix de muscade) for spice
  • basically you can make it up if you can make shepherds pie and you know what you like.

One good recipe is at, from where I have pinched their picture. I hope that this link makes good this borrowing. See their site here.

Confit de Canard: Your Starter For Ten

Confit of Duck Recipe Queries…

We had a query emailed to Confit de Canard UK recently:

Hi, I’ve been reading and enjoying your website and just wanted to seek your opinion. I am having 10 people for dinner next weekend and I have 2 of the large tins of confit de canard with the 4 pieces inside. I was thinking of having this as a starter and serving it as a salad. I assume this will be enough (starter)? Also, do you have any suggestions for what else to include in the salad? I was thinking perhaps some rocket, lettuce, red onion and possibly some avocado. Does this seem a reasonable idea or do you have any other suggestions?

I  replied as follows:

“You will certainly have enough duck meat for a starter for ten but I guess that you’d want to take the duck off the bone with a salad. As you’d only have 8 thighs or legs from your tins you couldn’t split it evenly anyway on the bone! Cook the duck (drain off and keep all the fat), and get it off the bone and onto the cold salad and serve whilst it’s hot (or at least warm).

I like the sound of your recipe, though I tend to use gesiers for a salad. Either way you could add some walnuts, which I like (see our confit de canard recipes page). Or maybe some tinned beans or petits pois. I’d prefer the peas as they are sweet and balance the salty duck meat. Croutons might also work?

I nearly always use tomatoes (small vine one in halves) (use small vine tomatoes as they taste of tomatoes – unlike many supermarket toms these days which taste like “bags of water”, as someone called them last week).

I’ve not had rocket with duck. It might be interesting (or it might overpower it).

Being French food, a dressing with olive oil & regular or wine vinegar (not balsamic unless you prefer) and maybe some mustard?” And I wouldn’t have this without ground black pepper…

I must try some variations on this and publish my favourite. Thanks for asking…

Duck Confit Fat For Frying Eggs

Have a break from confit de canard and use the fat to fry your eggs, potatoes, anything?

Yum Yum: tastes like a farm yard...

Have I mentioned that an egg fried in duck fat tastes fantastic. (The fat is free – left in the tin after you take the duck confit out – and even after you’ve used some of it for frying your potatoes with your confit de canard meal)? Did I?

Well maybe or maybe not but the pioint is that I don’t think free range eggs taste that different to other eggs. I always buy free range in support of the poor egg-laying chickens but I really don’t think you can taste the free-range-ness. BUT if you fry them in duck fat then I think you taste the farm ayrd or at least the country-side. It’s the fat that gives the flavour…

Just a tip: Always warm the fat slowly to the right temperature before frying eggs or onions or anything. the duck fat properties fry beautifully but don’t burn it…

Cooking and Storing Confit de Canard Duck Fat

Confit de Canard Graisse ~ Top of The Roasting & Frying Pops!

When you cook your confit de canard you will find that you have a lot of grease over ~ either in the tin from whence they came or in the cooking pan. 

This can be stored in the fridge for many weeks, or even months should you not use it quickly enough ~ but it defeats me why this should happen.  Don’t take me to task if it does eventually “go”.  If only kept in the fridge, it won’t go off  before you use it, in my experience.  When you want to use it; take it out of the fridge, take out what you need ~ with a clean spoon ~ and put the rest BACK in the fridge.

The other half of our Confit de Canard UK team freezes the grease in ice trays and then just takes out ready-to-use portions ~ say to fry an egg.  You can measure that way too… One cube, two cubes, three cubes ~ etc.

NB Why does “graisse” (as it says on the tin) sound so much better than “grease”.  Is that Francophilia or is it grease’s poor reputation?  Is the strict English translation “Fat” anyway?

If you cook your confit de canard in ther oven with a generous amount of the duck fat in the baking tin (which you can drain or spoon off during cooking if you prefer) and you have added an onion or two to the baking tin, then the wonderful flavours of onions will go into the fat which you store. Even better or raosting potatoes…

I find that frying eggs in duck fat gives them that country-side/ farm-yard  flavour ~ that the promise of free range suggests but never delivers*. Eating fried eggs when frying in duck fat makes me nostalgic for something I’ve only ever imagined ~ never experienced!

* I always buy free range eggs but to be honest I don’t find any difference in the eggs.  I do it for the chicken’s sake.

I use old jam jars or even the big coffee jar.  Yes you get that much from one tin.

French Duck Fat Saves Christmas Day

The Best Roast Potatoes Are Roasted in Confit de Canard “Graisse”

Confit de Canard (Manchons) comes to the rescue…. So Christmas Day arrives and although the turkey is being cooked up the road in another oven (and transported here in a wheelbarrow, wrapped in protective winter clothing of newspapers) we’re cooking everything else here.  But there’s no duck fat in the fridge (as usual) because we used it all last week.

Oh my goodness… what to do?

Warm and open a tin of confit de canard manchons of course and drain off the warmed fat.  Add that fat/grease to the par-boiled potatoes and in the oven for perfect roast potatoes and Xmas lunch has the perfect roast potatoes.  No pictures, sorry but they  looked and they tasted fantastic! And then the next day we cooked the manchons with some left over red cabbage.  Yum Xtra yum.

Basic Cooking Instructions for Confit de Canard

Confit de Canard (Duck Confit) ~ Roast Or Fried

I waver between preferring my confit de canard fried or roasted. Neither description really conjours the idea of how it cooks because of the properties of duck fat and it’s specific cooking properties and because the duck confit is already cooked and in some ways your cooking is really heating. And either frying or oven~roast is equally delicious and the taste much the same.  (Now, duck fat itself is worthy of many more articles ~ which will follow soon ~ Search for duck fat in the tags.)

In either case you open the tin ~ ideally heated in bain marie (warm water to you & me) or left on top of the cooker first, so that the meat comes easily away from the fat or else you’re struggling a bit ~ and put the duck in a  frying pan or an oven dish with the fat and cook for about 20 minutes.

The reason that confit de canard is so highly regarded as a “gourmand” dish is the flavour which comes becasue it’s been cooked before it’s preserved (seasoned, marinaded and cooked in it’s fat for 24 hours or so) and the second cooking brings out all the flavours double~so.  Many French do the first preparation themselves (they do the “confit” bit which I have always understood to mean “potted”) but if you have a tin you just have to do the second cooking which is literally as simple as the above.

You can add to onions your confit de canard  if you fry or oven~roast and some ground black pepper if preferred.  Salt is usually unnecessary.

It’s best to drain off or spoon off the excess fat which you must keep – either to cook your potatoes in at the same time or later.  You’ll have enough duck fat left to fry eggs or potatoes (or start many other dishes)  on many more occasssions from one 1.35kg tin.  Keep the duck fat in the fridge in a jam jar when you’re not using it.