Gingergirl: No reason to duck out of the way of this French staple

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Welcome to all about food. Time for a little French influence this week…

Welcome to all about food. Time for a little French influence this week…

Ask gingergirl

Hello gingergirl,

I’m really enjoying your food column and am delighted to say that I have tried many of your recipes that are now firm favourites in our home.

One of my foodie friends recently gave me a large tin of duck confit and I’m not too confident about cooking it or how to serve it. Can you help?

Many thanks,

Eileen, Ennis.

Hello Eileen,

What a lovely gift! Food gifts are my favourite but I suppose that’s no big surprise! Preserved duck, or confit de canard, is a traditional method of curing, cooking and preserving duck or goose legs and thighs in their own fat enabling them to be preserved and stored for long periods of time. Once tinned the duck can be stored for up to four years. A popular way of cooking duck confit is to simply dice some potatoes and sit in a roasting dish, remove most of the fat from the duck legs (chill or freeze the fat for future roast potatoes) place the duck on a rack above the potatoes and roast at a high temperature for approximately twenty minutes. Serving it with lentils is also a big hit in my house, I use puy lentils as I like the texture but any green lentils will do.

Duck confit 
with puy lentils

Serves six

Olive oil

500g of puy lentils

1 carrot roughly chopped

1 onion, quartered

2 whole cloves of garlic

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of fresh thyme

The juice of four lemons

Sea salt and fresh black pepper

6 large duck confit legs

Fresh parsley chopped.

Pre-heat the oven to 220ºc. Put the lentils into a large saucepan, cover with water and add the onions, carrots, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. Bring the lentils to the boil and simmer for fifteen minutes or until the lentils are al dente.

As the lentils are cooking, remove the duck from the fat and roast on a grill pan for fifteen minutes or until the duck skin is crisp.

Drain the lentils and remove the vegetables and herbs. Drizzle the lentils with a little olive oil, add the fresh lemon juice, parsley and season. Place the lentils on each plate and sit a duck leg on top.

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

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