Confit duck leg with shoestring fries and plum ketchup

Confit duck leg with shoestring fries and plum ketchup
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, plus 6 hours curing. Oven time 3 hours.

Meltingly tender duck and a tangle of crisp potatoes (fried in the same delicious fat) are paired with a sweet, tangy plum sauce. Don’t be put off by the time it takes to prepare the confit duck – it’s effortless and can be done in advance.

Next time? Learn how to make a rich, slow-cooked duck ragu.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
626kcals
Fat
26.9g (6.9g saturated)
Protein
44.4g
Carbohydrates
48.9g (35.8g sugars)
Fibre
5.2g
Salt
2.3g
Calories
626kcals
Fat
26.9g (6.9g saturated)
Protein
44.4g
Carbohydrates
48.9g (35.8g sugars)
Fibre
5.2g
Salt
2.3g

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp chinese five-spice
  • 25g sea salt flakes
  • 4 duck legs
  • 640g goose or duck fat, melted
  • 250g floury potatoes

For the ketchup

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 500g plums, pitted and chopped
  • 80g light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp tamari or light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp chinese five-spice

You’ll also need

  • Julienne peeler

Useful to have

  • Probe thermometer

Method

  1. Mix the five-spice and salt, then rub it all over the duck legs. Put in a container, cover and leave in the fridge to cure for 6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, make the ketchup. Put the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger for 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add the rest of the ketchup ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a jammy consistency. Transfer to a blender or food processor, whizz for 2-3 minutes with a tea towel over the hole until smooth, then taste – add a little more salt or vinegar if you think it needs it. Cover and set aside in the fridge.
  3. After the duck has cured, heat the oven to 100°C fan/gas ½. Thoroughly wash the salt mixture off the duck legs, then pat dry. Put in a tight-fitting dish, pour over the goose or duck fat, then cover the dish tightly with foil. Cook in the oven for 3 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Leave the duck legs to cool in the fat (see Make Ahead).
  4. Peel the potatoes and use a julienne peeler or mandoline with a julienne attachment to slice them into thin matchsticks. Wash them in water 3 times to remove excess starch, then pat dry. Put a wide frying pan over a medium-high heat and a medium saucepan over a high heat. Put the fat used to cook the duck legs into the saucepan and heat to 180°C on a thermometer (or until a potato strand sizzles vigorously when added).
  5. Put the cooked duck legs skin-side down in the frying pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until the skin crisps up. Turn over the legs, reduce the heat to low and brush the skin with a little of the plum sauce. Keep warm while you prepare the potatoes.
  6. In batches, deep-fry the potatoes for 1-2 minutes or until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then sprinkle with salt.
  7. Serve the duck legs with a pile of shoestring fries and a generous dollop of plum sauce on the side for dipping.

delicious. tips

  1. Don’t waste it: Leftover plum ketchup? Try it spread on bacon sandwiches or serve it with cheese or pork.

  2. Confit duck legs will sit in their cooking fat for a few weeks in the fridge. Remove from the fat, wiping off any excess, fry as in step 5 to get some colour, then roast in a high oven until piping hot.

    The plum ketchup can be made up to a week ahead and chilled.

Recipe By

Tom Shingler

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