Confit Duck Leg with Butter Beans, Smoked Pancetta, Savoy Cabbage, Garlic and Thyme


This is definitely a bit of a faff but absolutely worth it! Its not really difficult, just a little time consuming. The good thing is you can store the duck legs in the fat for weeks afterwards in the fridge.


For the Duck Confit you will need.

4 Duck legs

500g of Duck or Goose fat

3 Cloves of Garlic

Sprigs of Thyme

1 tsp Juniper Berries

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

3 tbs Sea Salt

2 tsp Mixed Peppercorns

Rind of 1 Lemon

1 tsp Fennel Seeds


1. Cover the duck legs both sides in the salt then add all the other ingredients, gently cracking the garlic and the peppercorns. Cover with clingfilm and put in the fridge overnight.

2. Take out the duck and brush off excess salt but dont wash the duck.

3. Melt the duck fat in a heavy bottomed pan. Place the duck legs in the pan with a few of the peppercorns, garlic and a sprig of thyme. The fat should totally cover the legs.

4. Keep the pan on a low heat with only the very occasional bubble breaking the surface. Cook on a low heat for about 2 1/2 hours.

5. Very gently test with a sharp knife that the meat is tender and just about falling off the bone.

6. Take out the legs then pour the fat through a sieve in to a flat bottomed dish. When you get almost to the bottom you’ll notice some of the natural juices from the duck and the garlic are slightly darker and sitting right at the bottom. Save this you will need it later.

7. The fat you pour over the legs should again cover them completely. You can cook them now if you want but id put them in the fridge again overnight.


To cook the duck:

1. Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees.

2. Take the legs out of the fat and remove any clumps of fat but its ok if there’s some left.

3. Place skin side up on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes while you prepare the beans.


For the bean stew you will need.

2 Tins of Butter Beans

1/4 of Finely Shredded Savoy Cabbage

2 Cloves of Garlic

2 Banana Shallots

130g Cubed Smoked Pancetta

2 Sprigs of Thyme stripped of leaves

Cracked black pepper

Fresh Parsley


1. In a frying pan cook the pancetta until golden brown then add the onion and garlic.

2. Wash the beans then add them to the pan with the cabbage the duck cooking juices and butter. Add the thyme, parsley and season with pepper.

3. Cook for 5 minutes turning over in the pan juices.

4. Take the duck out  and let rest for 10 minutes then arrange on the plate.



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