duck confit with flageolet beans


Lately I have been craving a change of scenery. I wondered where this urge was coming from, and then realized that Matt and I have been in our apartment in San Francisco for over two years now. I know two years doesn’t sound like much, but upon further reflection, I realized that every year since I left my parents’ house for college in 1998 I have never lived in an apartment for more than a year. Something always caused me to move out – a desire to experience a new neighborhood, a landlord who wanted to sell, a need to expand or contract. We love our little place here so much that I have absolutely no desire to leave until we are forcibly removed. However, I do have an urge to refresh things – to make this apartment more ours.  Because I have historically been so quick to move out of a place as soon as the lease is up, I never really put down roots and have never painted an apartment {except for once during law school when my sister and I lived together and decided to paint our apartment in Santa Monica a “beachy” blue, which in hindsight made it look a bit like a clownhouse}, normally being too practical to spend the money to change a place I know I will only be in a short time. Now that we have lived in our place as long as we have, I have convinced Matt that we need to spend a weekend painting our living room and bedroom.

Last weekend was going to be that weekend, but after a crazy hectic week at work, by Friday, we both decided that a paint job was far too ambitious. Instead, we opted to sleep in, lounge around with Layla {our French bulldog} and just relax. A weekend of hibernation calls for some slow cooked meats, that can just be ignored in a low oven for hours. I decided to make duck confit, a dish that I am truly obsessed with and order whenever it is on the menu, but have never made at home. It reminds me of carnitas – deliciously flavorful, alternating between bits that are succulent and juicy to browned and crispy. To me, this blend of textures is absolutely irresistible. And it really couldn’t be easier to make at home – simply marinate the duck legs overnight in a mixture of herbs, garlic and salt, and then bake in a very low oven for about 3 hours. Make it on a lazy Sunday when you have the luxury of just relaxing around the house. Perhaps we will paint next weekend.



Serves 2

For the duck legs:

  • 2 large duck legs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves, finely sliced
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3 c. duck fat, melted {or enough to completely submerge the duck legs in your pan}

For the beans:

  • 1 c. flageolet beans dried, soaked overnight
  • ½ onion, peeled, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 3/4 c. water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small handful parsley, roughly chopped

Lay the duck legs on a tray, flesh side upwards and distribute the salt, black pepper, garlic, thyme and bay leaves evenly over. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight {12 hours}.

Wash off the marinade and pat dry with kitchen cloth, place the duck legs, skin side down in a saucepan. Cover with the melted duck fat and bring the temperature to 185ºF, cook for about 3 hours in a preheated oven {220°F}. With a slotted spoon lift the leg out of the duck fat and reserve.

Whilst the duck legs are cooking mix the beans and all the other ingredients in a saucepan. Gently simmer the beans on the lowest heat for 50 minutes. Taste to see if they are perfectly cooked, the beans should be soft and melting not powdery. Remove the bay leaf and thyme.

Mix in the extra virgin olive oil and parley. Taste and correct the seasoning. In a dry, non-stick pan, on medium heat, crisp and color the duck legs on the skin side 5 – 7 minutes.

To serve, generously spoon the beans and some of the cooking liquid into a soup bowl and top with a crispy duck leg, drizzle over extra virgin olive oil.

Adapted from Raymond Blanc




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14 Responses to duck confit with flageolet beans

  1. chef mimi says:

    Oh I love duck confit. And with the white beans it’s so simple and elegant!

  2. I love confit, this is perfect with the beans. I agree with Chef Mimi, it’s very elegant!

  3. bitsofnice says:

    This reminds me so much of when I lived in France, confit de canard is one of my favourite dishes but never atempted to make it. I will have to now! 🙂

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Ah – how lovely! I bet you have all sorts of amazing food memories from your time living in France – how wonderful! You really should try this at home – super easy, and it will take you right back to France! xoxo

  4. Sounds absolutely delicious. Good luck with the painting!

  5. Lauren Gehman says:

    Ah, Santa Monica memories. We lived in a clown house – what were we thinking? Also, the duck confit reminds me of Father’s Office, which is where I first tasted it. Yum!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha that silly clown house. On top of the hideous colors, we really (or I really) did a shoddy job. Tres embarrassing! Oh, and I forgot about the duck confit at Father’s Office – that is probably the first time I had it too! Thanks for reminding me!

  6. You had me at confit!

  7. laurasmess says:

    I actually roasted duck legs yesterday for Aaron… it was his birthday dinner request. Now I wish that I had done confit instead (though being a week day, I guess it wasn’t an ideal time for it!). This looks gorgeous Linds. Love the beautiful contrast between that succulent, salted duck meat and the soft, creamy beans. Perfect. I need to make this xo

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