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My Duck Confit With The Best Sweet Potato Mash & Crispy Kale

Falling off the bone tender, yet crispy, served with the creamiest sweet potato mash and crunchy kale chips. This duck confit is perfection – can we say yum?

easy Duck Confit recipe

First off, let me just say that I ADORE confit duck. I mean, what’s not to love – crispy, salty, fall apart flesh which is far more affordable than the tired dinner party staples of lamb and beef! Done deal in my book.

If you are having a cold sweat flash back to that time you tried making a french dish for a dinner party, only to spend half the evening standing by the stove, desperately searing steaks while shouting small talk to your guests over the whirr of the extractor fan, fat flying everywhere and your perfectly planned outfit now smelling like Steak Au Poivre, don’t let yourself be daunted!

Duck confit is simple to prepare. Its perfectly suited to being made well in advance and finished without fuss. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I cook this in a pan?

While technically doable, we wouldn’t advise it – the oven provides an even heat, and will protect you (and your clothing) from nasty fat splatters!

Can I use ordinary potatoes if I don’t have sweet potatoes?

Absolutely! However peel the potatoes, cut into wedges and cook them in boiling salted water until soft. Omit the maple syrup, and mash your potatoes with butter and milk or cream. Finish the mash with whole grain mustard to taste. This addition will compliment the duck well. 



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easy Duck Confit recipe

My Duck Confit With The Best Sweet Potato Mash & Crispy Kale

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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 4 Servings


Confit is simply a fancy way to describe something that has been cooked in a bath of fat. Being surrounded by liquid fat means the meat will retain all of its moisture, making even the toughest cuts turn into melt in your mouth creations. All the prep for this dish can be done in advance and quickly finished off in 10-15 minutes while the guests snack on the canapés.




  • 60g salt
  • 60g sugar
  • 5ml orange zest
  • small pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 5ml ground black pepper


  • 4 duck legs
  • 1L of duck fat (or a mix of duck fat and a neutral oil like canola)
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • 200g kale
  • 1 Tbsp oil


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the cure. Massage this into the duck legs and let them marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours (up to 24 hours) in a container. This is ideally done the night before.
  2. The next day, heat the oven to 120C, wipe the rub from the legs and place them into a large casserole or deep baking dish. Cover the duck with the fat and place the legs into the oven for about 3 hours or until the meat is literally falling off the bone.
  3. Once cooked the duck can be stored out of the fat in a container until ready to serve. Place the fat in the fridge to solidify. The duck juices will separate and settle on the bottom. Once the fat is cool, separte it from the duck juices, and store in the freezer. Keep the duck pan juices for serving.
  4. Once the duck is in the oven wash the sweet potatoes, place them on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven along with the duck. The slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the sweet potato giving it a more complex flavour. The sweet potatoes need to be roasted until you can pierce them with a knife with no resistance. Depending on the size of your sweet potatoes this can take roughly 2 hours.
  5. Once the sweet potatoes are butter-soft and cooked through, allow them to cool a little, before peeling away their skins and mashing them with the butter and maple syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and if using a squirt of Sriracha. The sweet potato can be set aside and reheated later.
  6. Shortly before your duests arrive heat the oven to 150C. You can also complete this step in an airfryer on 120C. Wash the kale, then massage in the oil. Lay the kale in an even layer, and cook until crisp, but not brown. This will take 8-10 minutes in an oven, or 3 in an air fryer depending on the model.
  7. When nearly ready to serve, turn the oven to grill. Remove the duck legs from the fat and place them on a clean baking sheet. Place the duck legs under the grill (in the lower part of the oven so they don’t burn), skin side up, until the skin is golden and crisp.
  8. Warm the duck pan juices in the miocrwave. Taste the juices, they may be a little salty from the brine. Adjust the seasoning level with a orange juice from the orange you used for the cure.
  9. Warm the sweet potato on the stove before dolloping it onto warmed plates. Place the crisp duck on top, drizzle with sauce and scatter over the crispy kale.

Well done, you domestic goddess!


Chefs Tip: The fat you choose to use for your confit will become tastier with each use. Simply strain out any bits and freeze the fat until you need it again.

  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: French


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 2948.22kcal
  • Sugar: 24.49g
  • Sodium: 6094.25mg
  • Fat: 287.28g
  • Saturated Fat: 80.98g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 149.46g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.57g
  • Fiber: 5.67g
  • Protein: 39.6g
  • Cholesterol: 418.11mg
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