CONTINUING on from my Duck Prosciutto from last month I thought I’d carry on the duck theme for this month too.

Duck is one of my best-selling products; perhaps it’s the taste and the addition of B vitamins and protein, or perhaps it’s because many people aren’t entirely sure how to cook it confidently.

If you buy a whole duck make prosciutto with the breasts and confit the legs and make a stock and sauce with the bones. I’ll be doing a stock recipe next month!

The word confit is French and comes from the word confirm which means to preserve. Any food that is cooked slowly in order to preserve it is known as a confit.

Traditionally a French duck confit utilises the whole bird. The meat can then be stored in the fat it was cooking for long periods of time as it is sealed in the fat where no oxygen can reach and spoil it.

The confit is prepared in a centuries-old process of preservation that consists of salt-curing a piece of meat (generally goose, duck, or pork) and then cooking it in its own fat.

The combination of salt and other ingredients such a garlic, thyme and pepper combined with the slow and low cooking in fat, followed by a final hot heating in the oven, make it at once crispy, moist and extremely flavoursome.

It’s actually very simple to make: all that’s required is a little patience as it requires an overnight salt cure and then an hour or so on the stove in a pan of goose or duck fat.

It’s delicious served on a green salad, with mashed potatoes and pickled red cabbage, sautéed potatoes and green beans, or as the French usually do, with a bean and bacon cassoulet.

You will need four duck legs, 900g of duck or goose fat and a wide sauce pan. I recommend using a good sea salt such as Maldon.

This recipe is with added thyme, garlic and black pepper ,however you can just use salt or get creative with your own spice and herb combinations such as bay leaves, rosemary, nutmeg, cloves, juniper, orange zest, ginger, lemon grass.

Anything that goes with duck will work. I also recommend leaving the duck in the fat for a week after cooking which will improve the flavour enormously.

This Duck Confit recipe will keep in the fridge for up to two months.

The potatoes roasted in duck fat to accompany the crisped-up confit is called ‘pommes de terre à la sarladaise’. Another fabulous accompaniment is red cabbage slow-braised with apples and red wine. Delicious!