Honey-Roast Confit Of Duck

4 min read
This hearty French classic combines meltingly tender meat with crispy skin and can be made well in advance - perfect for dinner parties.


  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves roughly chopped
  • 2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, lightly bashed
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 duck legs (approximately 800g)
  • 750g duck fat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sunflower oil, for covering the duck
  • 4 tbsp clear honey


  1. Mix together the thyme, rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns with 2 tbsp flaky sea salt. Tip half into a large baking dish, top with the duck legs, then sprinkle over the remaining salt and massage well into the duck. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 24 hours.

  2. Heat your oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Take the duck legs out of the dish, wipe off the salt mixture with kitchen paper, and then set aside.

  3. Melt the duck fat in a flameproof casserole dish until just bubbling. Add the bay leaves and duck legs, and bring to a gentle simmer. The legs should be completely covered, so top up with olive oil if needed. Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

  4. To check whether the duck is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg - it should go in easily. Leave the duck to cool in the fat. 

  5. Heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Lift the duck legs from the dish, scrape off the fat, and place skin-side up in a shallow roasting tin.

  6. Spoon 1 tbsp honey over each duck leg and roast for 25-30 minutes until the skin is browned and sticky.

Credit: James Martin