HCC 005| Duck Confit Part 2 - Finishing

This video demonstrates how to finish and serve the duck confit we made in a previous video.

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There are 34 Comments

dk's picture

I made this last night, I wasn't able to get the skin  very crispy but other than that it turned out great.   I used reduced duck stock and orange juice and zest for my sauce.  Everyone that had it enjoyed it, even my sister who isn't a big fan of duck.

jacob burton's picture

What temperature did you roast the confit at and for how long?

dk's picture

I set the oven to 500, so maybe 425.  I think it was about 15 min.

jacob burton's picture

Why do you think your oven heat was only 425 when you set it to 500? Does your oven need to be calibrated? 500F for 15 minutes should crisp the skin.

You can also try putting it under your broiler next time.

dk's picture

Old oven in a home kitchen, it has a hard time getting really hot.  Broiling would probably have worked better.

jacob burton's picture

Yep, give that a try next time, I think you'll have better luck. Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe.

jimmy2013's picture

please where can i get all that duck fat??

captaincomputer's picture

I just received a gallon of rendered duck fat ordered through LocalHarvest.org.  The fat is shipped from Pekin Paradise -- the same company that Amazon uses -- but there are no shipping charges.  The cost is a little cheaper than ordering it through Amazon.

jacob burton's picture

Hi Jimmy,


Welcome to the website. You can check your local butcher's market or you can just order it through Amazon.


You can re-use the duck fat many times and if stored in the bucket will keep for months in your refrigerator. You can also freeze a portion to store it longer.

jimmy2013's picture

Thanks a lot :)

dk's picture

I bought whole ducks when I made this and I was able to get quite a bit of fat from the ducks themselves, don't throw away any extra skin scraps you can render a surprising amount of fat out of the excess skin.  I had to get a little extra fat.  I found it at AJ's Fine Foods  I don't know what other cities they are in, but they have quite a few locations in Phoenix, AZ.

imthewiz's picture

I have strips of confited pork shoulder curing under it's fat cap in my fridge right now. I am curious though, as chef mentions in this vid that it's ideal to let duck confit stay under the fat cap for a month before cooking - but how long can you wait before the meat spoils or becomes unpalatable? I am reading through the book "Charcuterie" right now, & Ruhlman claims that, if stored in the fridge, confited pork must be removed from the fat cap and eaten within 3 weeks time. Does this seem valid, or could I keep curing it in there for quite a bit longer?

jacob burton's picture

Did you use any curing salt?

It's possible Ruhlman is trying to error on the safe side (probably for legal reasons).

Confit can be eaten straight from the oven, but it gets better as it ages. I've aged duck confit for as long as 6 months, and it really just keeps getting better.

imthewiz's picture

I did use curing salt, specifically 3g curing salt added to the 30g kosher salt for the 5lbs boneless pork shoulder.

I was thinking the same thing, that Ruhlman may be trying to play it legally safe, especially since this is a widely circulated introductory book.

I'd love to age my pork shoulder for 2 or 3 months and enjoy it over the holidays. I was pretty sure It would be ok, but wanted to make sure you were not aware of any reason pork could not be aged as long as duck. Now to see if I have the patience to keep my hands off this for a few months!

Thanks chef, I appreciate the feedback

jacob burton's picture

You should be good to go, especially with the nitrite. Just use your best judgment; if something doesn't smell or look right, cut your loses and toss it.

Holly's picture

The first video is closed for comments so I hope it's OK if I post here. Near the end of the video, you pour the duck fat through a sieve. The item that drops into the sieve seems like gelatin, Am I right?

I find that really strange. I use the same techniques as you but I adjusted my time and temperatures for chicken wings. Your recommendations have resulted in a superb wing.

The only inconsistency is the gelatin issue. Like if I poured my duck fat through a sieve immediately after my Confit, the gelatin would break up into little balls and disperse throughout the duck fat.

This makes the duck fat cloudy and it's hard to use for my next batch because the gelatin is not separated so cannot be easily removed. This leads to the duck fat being somewhat diluted and less concentrated which can't be a good thing for flavor.

For the gelatin to settle, solidify and separate, I have to let the duck fat temp fall to at least 86 degrees.

Is chicken gelatin different to duck gelatin, am I doing something wrong. Please help if possible, Thank you

Holly's picture

Or leaving gelatin in could duck fat could be  a good thing for further cooks as it will enhance the flavor of the duck fat. Is that wishful thinking, is it best to remove between cooks?

Holly's picture

Ack, it's as if Jacob has an imaginary cold zone in his pan. How does he do that?

Also, when I let the duck fat cool in order to remove the gelatin that way, the wings are stuck in the gelatin.

In the video, the duck fat must be around 185 degrees. Yet the gelatin is solid???
If it was  a fryer, it would make sense due to cold zone but how can gelatin be solid in  a hotel pan at that temperature.

On that note, is there a hotel pan out there which has a cold zone that I don't know about, would help me so much if I found one.

jacob burton's picture

@ Holly,

I strain the fat to remove any particulate matter, but the gelatin from the protein is still dissolved at this point.

When the fat cools, the gelatin will fall to the bottom, at which point you can remove the fat and then harvest the gelatin.

If you leave the gelatin in the fat for multiple cooks, you'll build up a lot of water content, which will switch the technique from confit (slow cooking in fat) to braising (slow cooking in a water based liquid).

Hope this helps.

Noya.Greenberg's picture

Please help me, sorry. Here's the thing, my Confit duck fat takes on a bad smell after a week. 

Long story short, fat cannot spoil as it's a fat so why is my fat spoiling, my two theories
- I remove gelatin but there does be little bits of gelatin throughout the fat. I was wondering if that's the cause?
- As I'm doing sous vide temps of about 145 F, the water does not boil off the particles from my chicken wings. Are these particles spoiling within oil due to their water content?

In summary, is the gelatin bits that are spoiling or the invisible particles which have a water content?

jacob burton's picture

Fat can spoil, especially after you use it for cooking.

Why it's taking on a funky smell after a week though is new to me. In all my years of cooking confit, I've never had this happen.

Noya.Greenberg's picture

I'm sorry Jacob, I made a bad attempt at framing that question.

This example best illustrates my point,
I put the fat on a stovetop in order to concentrate it while keeping the temperature below 250 degrees. There was no bad smell apparent. Then I whisked the bottom of the pot and a brief whiff of a bad smell came to the surface. I let it settle and whisked again, same thing happened.

It seemed to me that when I disturbed the bottom, it caused evaporation and a resulting bad smell. Which makes me think that there were little bits of gelatin throughout the oil, these bits settle to the bottom and whisking accelerates their evaporation. So, it's not the fat that spoils. I think it's the particles within the fat that have a water content. 

I'm nearly sure this is the cause, my only nagging question is if the cause of spoilage is due to gelatin bits or the water content of protein particles,

jacob burton's picture

Is the smell bad as in rotten or just funky?

Melted animal fat, especially duck and lamb but also chicken, can take on a funky, gamey smell. When you whisk the fat, you're aerating it, which just makes the fat easier to smell.

So if it smells gamey and funky but doesn't give you the "want to gag" reaction, then your fat is fine.

Noya.Greenberg's picture

Oh no, not rotten at all. Just an off smell. When I hold it at 250 degrees, the smell goes after a while.

Interesting......I thought the smell was coming from water/gelatin, both are more dense than fat so gravitated to the bottom of the pot. Whisking or running a spatula along the bottom then causes the smell to rise from the bottom and evaporate. Aerating, never heard that before but sounds neat.

jacob burton's picture

Yeah, you're fine. It's natural for your fat to smell a little funky.

Noya.Greenberg's picture

Hey Jacob, I know water bonds with fat during high temperature frying. 
-Does water bond with fat during a sous vide/ confit?
-Is all water removed with gelatin?

Hydrolysis also begins at 300°,
-Is there a minimum temp at which water bonds to fat?

Noya.Greenberg's picture

And here's a  statement I found online which goes with my spoilage fears for duck fat 
"Bacteria can't grow in the olive oil itself, but it can grow in the water left on the ingredients going into the oil"

I think this applies to confit oil because the particles coming off the duck legs/wings contain water, therefor they are subject to spoilage within the fat.

Noya.Greenberg's picture

In the confit video, you layer your legs in single layer on the base of the hotel pan. Any video I've seen, they line up the legs in a single layer and never put one leg on top of another leg.

Would the same apply to chicken wings, should they be in a single layer or is it OK to squash them into your confit container. I don't mean literally squash, I mean that they're all close together and on top of each other.

There might be a rule, like a ratio of duck fat to protein during a confit.

Noya.Greenberg's picture

Sometimes, there does be white meat in the duck fat. I'm assuming that it brushes off the wing during the Confit.
What would combat the white meat coming off
.Placing wings separately into oil so they don't touch off one another.
.Placing into hot oil
.Lining wings in a single layer like duck legs

Please add this to Stella Cast if possible, just an idea. Sorry

Holly's picture

How do you get water out of the oil after your confit. Is there a way to keep oil at 250F. I try to boil off the water as Jacob does but the heat goes past 250. Is there  a trick of the trade. I know Jacob uses a candy thermometer but is there like a special pot that won't go past 250. Do you need  a heavy bottom pot?

While all water may not end up in gelatin, some will remain in the oil.
However, do all juices gravitate to gelatin. Juices are released as a solution, will that solution always end up in gelatin?

Holly's picture

Do you know what'd be cool. A hotel pan that had like a cake rack built into it. So you could confit your proteins on the rack and the gelatin would just fall to the base. You could then remove your duck legs/wings without worrying about getting that annoying gelatin all messed up in your fat. Do such pans exist or have I just given away the best invention ever?

Holly's picture


Place them into hot oil separately and you won't have any issues with sticking. Mine were sticking together and I started them in hot oil and it was all good. Although, I don't do confit temperatures and I don't use duck fat.

Holly's picture

You forgot mecrying

Only joking with ya Jacob, you could put them into your next cast thoughlaugh