Confit Leg of Duck with Braised Tuscan Cabbage

posted: 06/30/10

Note: Duck confit is a French specialty whereby the duck legs and thighs are slowly cooked in duck fat until the meat is meltingly tender and moist. Prepared duck confit is available vacuum packed by D'Artagnan and can be found at butcher shops, some specialty supermarkets and online.


  • 6 confit duck legs (about 2 1/2 pounds /1.1 kg total)
  • 1 cup dry Sherry
  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 pounds/700 g fresh Tuscan kale (also known as cavolo nero), stems and center ribs removed, leaves cut crosswise into 3/4-inch-/2-cm-wide ribbons
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Chives (see recipe)


To prepare the duck confit:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375?F/190?C. Heat a heavy based large ovenproof frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the duck legs skin side down and cook for 10 minutes or until the skin is pale golden.
  2. Turn the legs over and place the pan in the oven. Roast the duck legs for 45 minutes or until they are heated through and golden brown and crisp on the outside.
  3. Simmer the Sherry in a heavy based small saucepan with high sides over a medium to high heat for 15 minutes or until the Sherry is reduced to about 2 tablespoons/30 ml and coats the bottom of the pan when the pan is tilted.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based large wide pot over a medium to high heat. Add the carrots and leeks and saut? for 3 minutes or until the leeks are tender. Stir in the kale in batches until all of the kale has been added and it has wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the stock and bring the stock to a simmer.Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the kale is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon the braised kale mixture onto plates, mounding slightly. Place the duck legs adjacent to the kale. Spoon the polenta alongside the duck and kale mixture. Spoon the Sherry reduction over the duck and serve immediately.
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