Duck Confit was once esteemed as a preservation method; cooking and keeping the duck in its rendered fat results in meltingly tender, moist, and extremely flavourful meat, which can be used in a variety of simple preparations.
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Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days (optional, but that’s the traditional French method).
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Melt the duck fat in a small saucepan. Brush the salt and seasonings off the duck. Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be smothered in fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours.
Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck in the fat. (The confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks.)