Confit duck leg

Frank Camorra
Mustard dressing works beautifully with potato salad, and with proteins such as confit duck (pictured).
Mustard dressing works beautifully with potato salad, and with proteins such as confit duck (pictured). Photo: Marcel Aucar

Mustard dressing is one of my favourites, so easy, and egg-free for those with allergies. Try it on anything you would use mustard for, such as smoked trout, grilled rib eye or juicy pork snags. It is lovely on potato salad with crunchy vegetables, which makes a perfect side dish for this rich confit duck. Drizzle extra dressing over the duck just before serving for added kick.


For duck

6 cumin seeds

12 coriander seeds

3 juniper berries

50g flaky sea salt

6 duck leg and thigh joints

1 small bunch thyme

1 rosemary branch

1 unpeeled garlic clove, sliced, plus 1 whole garlic bulb, halved

500g duck fat, or enough vegetable oil to submerge the duck legs

2 bay leaves

1 tsp black peppercorns

For dressing

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 lemons, juiced

250ml olive oil (a mild version, not too strongly flavoured)



The day before cooking, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan until they are aromatic. Put them on a chopping board and crush with the blade of a knife. Crush the juniper berries and mix with the spices and salt. Rub the mixture over the duck legs, scatter with thyme, rosemary and sliced garlic and chill for 24 hours, turning two or three times as they marinate.

Next day, heat the oven to 150C. Wipe the duck with kitchen paper and pat dry, but don’t wash off the marinade. Put the duck in a large casserole dish and cover with the duck fat. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns and cook for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is almost falling away from the bone. 

Remove the confit duck legs from their fat. Heat an ovenproof fry pan on the stove on high. Add the duck legs, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the legs and transfer the fry pan to the oven for 30 minutes, until the legs are crisp.

To make the mustard dressing, add the mustard and lemon juice to a food processor and blend, while slowly adding half a cup of boiling water. Then gradually add the oil until the dressing forms a semi-thick emulsion - add salt and more lemon juice if needed.

TIP: Duck legs can be kept for 2 weeks in a bowl in the fridge as long as you leave them covered by the confit fat.