How Do I Roast Duck Legs?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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One of the most popular ways to roast duck legs is a French recipe that requires the slow roasting of these duck pieces in fat. Fatty duck legs are usually required, but extra fat can be bought as well. Prior to roasting, the skin is scored, and the duck legs are rubbed with salt and other seasonings and refrigerated for several hours. They are then roasted in an oven at a low temperature for several hours.

Confit de canard, or duck confit, is a popular French dish. Cooks making this dish will typically need to plan ahead, since it can sometimes take several hours, or even several days, to make. It is considered an excellent way to roast duck legs, however, since the meat comes out rather tender and juicy.

Before you roast duck legs, you will need to purchase good duck legs. These can be found in some grocery stores, or a local butcher may also be able to get them for you. Large duck legs are usually preferred over small ones, and the legs should also contain a decent amount of fat. Purchasing extra fat may also be a good idea.


Duck legs are often sold with the drumsticks still attached to the thigh. These two pieces can be left together, or they can be split apart, depending on your preference. A sharp knife should also be used to cut into the skin. This will allow the melted fat to seep out from underneath the skin.

Coarse salt can then be rubbed onto the skin of the duck legs. Other seasoning, such as garlic and pepper, can also be rubbed onto the legs. The duck legs should then be covered and allowed to sit in the refrigerator for at least several hours. Some cooks leave the legs in the refrigerator overnight.

Any extra salt and seasoning should be brushed off the meat before you roast duck legs. The duck legs can also be seared in a hot pan prior to roasting. Along with giving them a browned appearance, this will also allow some of the fat to melt. The legs can then be put in a baking dish and covered with duck fat. The baking dish should also be covered with a lid or foil.

When you slow roast duck legs in this manner, the temperature of the oven should typically be between 200 and 250° F (93 to 120° degrees C). The duck legs should then be allowed to cook in the fat for several hours, until they are tender. Some cooks also remove the legs from the fat and brown them in the oven prior to serving them.


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Post 3

Does anyone else think 200° F is a little to low to be cooking duck legs? In my opinion, a temperature of around 300 would be a lot better. Than again, I guess I can understand why this is the case. Not only do some meats take a while to cook, but in some cases, the slower you cook the meat, the more tender it becomes. Not to mention that you can allow the flavors to marinate.

Post 2

One thing I really like about this article is how it mentions that most duck legs can be found from a local grocery store, and more importantly, the local butcher. This caught my attention because it really shows how butchers have a lot of experience, especially when preparing their meats. Generally speaking, they know what they're doing, and always provide quick and efficient services.

Post 1

Though I've never had duck legs before, this article is definitely starting to give me second thoughts, not to mention that it seems to break away from the usual holiday traditions. Regardless, this sounds like a very interesting recipe. People should really try this more often.

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