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Slow Cooker Duck Confit with Cherry Sauce

Slow Cooker Duck Confit is served in a black bowl with cherry sauce and tenderstem broccoli.
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If you are a fan of the sitcom ‘Friends’, you may remember an episode where Monica couldn’t work out a recipe for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies and gave up trying. She said: “I guess I’m not gonna be the mom who makes the world’s best chocolate cookies. I do make the best duck confit with broccoli rabe. Kids love that, right?” I don’t know about kids, but we (just about adults) really do. We make the best Slow Cooker Duck Confit with cherry sauce and serve it with tenderstem broccoli “rabe”.

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Duck Leg Confit on a black plate being cut into, exposing tender meat under the crispy skin.

What is Confit?

Duck Confit may sound like a complicated dish, but it is all about time and patience, rather than complex methods. If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘low and slow’, it is definitely applicable to confit duck leg. Traditionally made by submerging the duck legs in olive oil and cooking in the oven at around 120°C for about 4 hours, we opted to confit our duck legs in a slow cooker (we have a Morphy Richards 3.5l slow cooker that is just enough to cook for 2 of us!).

In a nutshell, confit is a food preservation technique, whereby ingredients are preserved by submerging and cooking the ingredients in fat. Whilst Duck Confit is one of the most popular dishes, other meats, vegetables and even fruit can be preserved this way. Three important elements of the confit process are:

  • Salt Cure
  • Fat
  • Slow Cooking

Read more about Confit, here.

Step-By-Step Recipe: How to Make Duck Leg Confit in a Slow Cooker?

Prepare the Duck Legs for Cooking Confit Style:

Prick the skin of the duck legs with a fork or a cocktail stick/toothpick all over. This will ensure the fat underneath the skin can escape whilst cooking and make the duck skin crispy.

Season the legs with coarse salt (we used sea salt) and pepper. If you’re looking to preserve the confit duck legs, cover and leave them to cure in salt for 7-8 hours in the fridge. If you’re going to eat the confit duck within a few days, you can cure it for an hour or two.

‘Low and Slow’ Cooking of the Duck Legs in a Slow Cooker (Crock Pot):

Place the duck legs in your slow cooker, skin side up. Pour the olive oil over them, and add the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, remove the duck legs from the slow cooker onto a baking tray. Be very gentle, the meat will be sliding off the bone at this point and you want to keep the legs intact.

***If you’re looking to preserve the confit duck legs to eat later, place the cooked legs in a single layer in an airtight container, pour all the fat from the slow cooker on them, making sure the legs are fully submerged (you may need some extra oil/fat if there isn’t enough). Once the duck and fat have cooled down to room temperature, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.***

If you want to eat it on the day, preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Place the confit duck legs in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the skin crisps up.

Confit Duck is ready to eat: it is already being cut into with a knife and fork.

What to Serve With Confit Duck?

Some of our favourite things to serve with Confit Duck Leg are:

Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon (Tenderstem Broccoli ‘Rabe’)

Cut tenderstem broccoli into 4-5 cm pieces and place them in a large pan. Pour boiling water into the pan over broccoli and bring to a rapid boil. Cook for 1 minute, then drain in a colander. Your broccoli should soften but still retain most of its crunch.

Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes. Cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, season with salt, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze half a lemon over the broccoli ‘rabe’ and serve alongside the confit duck legs. You can find our full recipe for Tenderstem Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon here.

Easy Sour Cherry Sauce

Our Sour Cherry Sauce recipe uses frozen cherries and balsamic vinegar, making it an alcohol-free sauce that you can make even when you don’t have any fancy wine at home! Duck Confit with Cherry Sauce is our favourite match ever!

shiny cherry sauce is on the plate next to duck leg on a black plate.

Crushed Baby Potatoes

Whilst we love any kind of potato side dish with duck confit, we feel that Crushed Baby Potatoes work best. And here’s why! Duck Confit is a rich meaty dish, so creamy mashed potato or roast potatoes may just be ‘a-bit-too-much’ for some ‘diet-conscious’ people (NOT us!). Our Smashed Baby Potatoes are simple, easy to make and low fat, making them a perfect accompaniment to Confit Duck! Recipe coming soon!

Recipe FAQs:

How to Make Duck Confit Crispy?

The easiest way to crisp up the skin on your confit duck legs is by placing the cooked legs in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C Fan. Alternatively, place the cooked legs skin side down into a hot pan and fry for a few minutes until crispy!

How Long Does Duck Confit Last?

If you prepare your duck correctly, Duck Confit can last months in the fridge. However, to ensure it preserves well, you need to cure it with salt for 8 hours before cooking. Make sure your duck is fully submerged in fat before placing it in the fridge too. We recommend using the cooked duck within 2 months.

Other French Recipes

For other quintessentially French recipes, have a look at some of our personal favourites below:

Slow Cooker Duck Confit is served in a black bowl with cherry sauce and tenderstem broccoli.

Slow Cooker Duck Confit with Cherry Sauce

If you are a fan of the sitcom 'Friends', you may remember an episode where Monica couldn't work out a recipe for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies and gave up trying. She said: "I guess I'm not gonna be the mom who makes the world's best chocolate cookies. I do make the best duck confit with broccoli rabe. Kids love that, right?" I don't know about kids, but we (just about adults) really do. We make the best Slow Cooker Duck Confit with cherry sauce and serve it with tenderstem broccoli "rabe".
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs 30 mins
Curing Time: 8 hrs
Total Time 14 hrs 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2 portions
Calories 504 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

For Duck Confit:

  • 2 duck legs approx 220g each
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary

Serve With:

Instructions
 

  • Prick the skin of the duck legs with a fork or a cocktail stick/ toothpick all over. This will ensure the fat underneath the skin can escape whilst cooking and make the duck skin crispy.
  • Season the legs with coarse salt (we used sea salt) and pepper. If you're looking to preserve the confit duck legs, cover and leave them cure in salt for 7-8 hours in the fridge. If you're going to eat the confitt duck within a few days, you can cure for an hour, or so.
  • Place the duck legs in your slow cooker, skin side up. Pour the olive oil over them, add the garlic and rosemary sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  • After 6 hours, remove the duck legs from the slow cooker onto a baking tray. Be very gentle, the meat will be sliding off the bone at this point and you want to keep the legs intact.
  • ***If you're looking to preserve the confit duck legs to eat later, place the cooked legs in a single layer in an airtight container, pour all the fat from the slow cooker on them, making sure the legs are fully submerged (you may need some extra oil/fat if there isn't enough). Once the duck and fat have cooked down to room temperature, cover and keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.***
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan. Place the confit duck legs in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the skin crisps up.
  • In the meantime, make broccoli 'rabe' and cherry sauce. Serve the duck legs with broccoli and sauce!

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 51gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 197mgSodium: 1387mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1955IUVitamin C: 134mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Cherry Sauce for Duck Confit, Duck Confit in a Slow Cooker, Duck Leg, Duck Leg Confit, Duck with Cherry Sauce, Slow Cooker Duck
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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6 Replies to “Slow Cooker Duck Confit with Cherry Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    Oh wow – so succulent and easy in the slow cooker. Now I can be Monica Gellar!

    1. Absolutely! It’s so easy to make in a slow cooker! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I was a bit intimidated about making duck at home, until I came across this recipe. Thank you very much, not only was it delicious but it was very easy to cook. The cherry sauce brought out the flavours so well!

    1. Thanks, Kate! So glad you liked this recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    You convinced me, and I made duck at home for the first time, and OMG, it was delicious! Thank you for always having the best recipes!

    1. Natalie, thank you so much for your kind words! So glad you liked this recipe too 🙂

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