I live in SW France and duck plays a huge role in all local dishes from cured, to paté, to foie gras, to confit and just plain roasted!
Confit and lentils is a very traditional combination around here, it's great hearty dish and goes perfectly with a glass of St Emilion wine.
Confit is very slow way of cooking any type of meat really, but it works so well with duck and it renders the meat so sweet and still juicy!
You will need to look for some really generous legs as the confit process reduces the size down considerably and any delicate legs will just fall apart.
So clear your day and get ready for 5 hours of slow cooking. Its such a great recipe, because even though it takes 5 hours, you can make it in advance and just pull it together on the day.
You will need a heavy oven pan, like a Le Cruset or dutch oven.
Salt and pepper the duck generously, place in the dutch oven skin side down. The legs will produce enough fat in themselves to confit them, so no need to add extra duck fat.
Add a chopped up stem of fresh ginger and a whole bulb of garlic cut in half.
Add a splash of water so the duck doesn't burn before the fat renders.
Pre-heat the oven to 130c oven, place the lid on your oven dish and in they go for 2 hours.
After two hours, turn them over and back in for another 2.5 hours
Then take out and place on sheet to drain. At this point you could wrap in foil and chill until needed. Be sure to drain the fat to use for the potatoes and onions.
When you are ready, turn oven up to 230c and on a tray put the duckback in for 30 mins to get the skin really crispy. Be delicate as the legs will fall apart!!! YUM
For the lentils:
5 tablespoons of duck fat
2 carrots chopped
The left over confit garlic from the duck
1 stick of celery chopped
300g of puy lentils, dried
1 litre chicken stock
Place the carrots and celery in the duck fat in a large saucepan and on a low heat cook for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and lentils, salt & pepper and add the stock.
Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Serve with duck roasted potatoes and shallot onions. Use a balsamic reduction to finish the dish.
Serve with a large glass of red wine!