This is the easiest recipe for Duck Leg Confit that you'll ever find. Duck Leg Confit is a classic French recipe that began as a method of preserving and grew to be one of the most cherished dishes of France. It's said to have originated in the Gascony area of southwest France, but is now made across the country. This version is made in the slow cooker and requires just 10 minutes of active time including pan searing!
Let's get it out of the way up front that this is not a traditional method of preparing duck leg confit. I've ordered traditional duck confit dozens of times in restaurants and wanted to figure out a no-fuss way to make it at home. I promise you that this version measures up to the best I've had with it's deep flavor, crispy skin and melt-in-your mouth meat.
Classic Flavors, Simplified Method
To make this recipe cost effective and ultra-simple, here's how you'll break from tradition.
How to Make Easy Duck Leg Confit:
Step 1: Season the legs one day in advance if you have time; cover and let them rest in the refrigerator. You can also season just before cooking, but they'll be slightly less flavorful.
Step 2: Instead of spending a fortune on duck fat (some recipes call for as much as 6 cups), drizzle olive oil in the crock of a slow cooker and arrange the legs in a single layer fat side up. Their fat begins to render quickly and they bubble away in it just as they would in a method where they're submerged in fat.
Step 3: Cook the seasoned duck legs within a couple of days, no need to worry about the legs being completely covered in fat in the refrigerator.
Step 4: Once the legs are pulled from the fat, the method is the same - a quick pan sear and you have a magnificent meal on your hands. You'll also have a generous amount of leftover duck fat and if you've ever had duck fat fried potatoes, you know why this is a very good thing.
I love to serve these crisped duck legs with a green salad or Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower and Fondant Potatoes, Gratin Dauphinois, Cheesy Potatoes, Lyonnaise Potatoes, or Mashed Red Potatoes (pictured above) that are seasoned with a liberal glug of olive oil, a bit of butter and some fresh garlic.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
I often turn to my favorite Slow Cooker Recipes for meals that taste like they took all day, but were actually prepared in minutes like: Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas, Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Barley Soup, Slow Cooker Jambalaya and White Chicken Chili. I even use the slow cooker to make Bone Broth!
Slow Cooker Duck Leg Confit
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 duck legs
- salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Arrange duck legs in a single layer in a baking dish and season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (You can skip this and season them just before cooking, but if you have time it's worth it to season them a day in advance.)
- Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a slow cooker. Arrange duck legs over the oil in a single layer. Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Transfer duck legs to a loaf pan and pour rendered fat from slow cooker over legs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- When you are ready to eat, heat a heavy skillet (ideally cast iron) over medium-high heat. Place legs in the dry pan, skin side down, and cook until skin is golden brown and crispy and leg is heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn legs and let cook on opposite side for 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve.