Duck Leg Confit with Spinach
Duck confit is pretty magical - a lot of it is just letting time work things out by itself. A long salt cure coupled with slow cooking, finished with a quick sear in a pan to crisp the skin in its own fat - gives you this amazing dinner with little effort.
What you'll need
2 duck legs
100g (3.5 oz) of salt
1 bay leaf, crumbled
Sprig of Thyme
30ml (2 tbsp) of duck fat
300g (10 oz) spinach leaves
30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
What to do
1 day before
To cure the duck: add crumbled bay leaf and thyme to salt. Place the duck legs in a deep dish. Rub salt mixture on them vigorously. Leave it to cure, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours.
12 hours 30 minutes before
Set Codlo to preheat water bath to 70°C(158°F) with 12 hours cooking time.
Thoroughly rinse off all the salt from the duck legs with water. Once target temperature is reached, seal each duck leg in a bag with 1 tbsp of duck fat. Submerge bag in water bath.
10 minutes before
When the duck is ready, reserve the liquid in the pouch. Pat dry the duck with kitchen towels. Heat a heavy-based skillet without oil. Sear the duck legs skin-side down on medium heat until golden (3-5 min). Turn the duck legs over and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, set aside.
Bring the reserved liquid to a boil until slightly reduced for the jus, set aside.
In a separate pan, heat olive oil on high heat. Add spinach leaves to cook briefly until just wilted. Lightly season with black pepper.
Place duck legs on top of a bed of spinach, with a drizzling of jus.
Notes & tips
You can cure the legs for up to 2 days. The color of the meat will be more intense and the excess salt needs to be properly rinsed out later.
The duck legs can keep for another 3 days in the refrigerator in its unopened pouch, until ready for use. Posh midweek dinners made possible!
It's OK to go without salting the spinach here as well, since the sauce would make up for it.