Pho Spiced Duck Confit
Succulent duck confit meets pho-style spicing in this Vietnamese-French influenced pairing.
For the Spice Rub
  • 1teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamon pods
  • 1 black cardamon pod(Optional)
  • 1/2teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4teaspoon ground cumin
Duck Confit
  • 2 duck legs(about 500g in total)
  • 250- 350grams duck fat(see notes)
To Make the Spice Rub
  1. Gently crush the cardamon pods to remove the seeds. In a dry pan, toast the cardamon seeds together with the star anise, cloves and fennel seeds till fragrant and slightly toasted. Let cool slightly, then grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder till fine. Mix together with the already-ground spices and salt.
Rub a Duck
  1. Take salt and spice mix and rub all over the duck, making sure it’s all completely covered. Cover the duck and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours, preferably 24hrs.
  2. Preheat the oven to 120°C/ 250°F. Remove the duck from the fridge and brush off any excess salt rub. Place the duck legs in an ovenproof dish that will fit the duck legs snugly. In a separate pan, warm the duck fat until it turns liquid, then pour over the duck legs. Place the duck in the oven and let cook for about 3 hours until the duck pulls away from the bone easily.
  3. Remove the duck legs from the oven, carefully take them out of the fat and let them cool slightly. While the duck legs are cooling, turn the oven up to 220°C/ 430°F. When the oven is hot, place the duck legs on a roasting pan or dish and roast for 15-20 minutes until the skin browns and crisps up.
  4. If you prefer to prepare the duck ahead of time, you can cook the duck and leave it cool in the pan with the cooking fat and store it in the fridge before you’re ready for the roasting stage.
  5. Serve the duck legs whole with accompaniments, or shred to use for salad, rolls, sandwiches or the like.
Recipe Notes

Duck fat – You will need enough duck fat to cover the duck legs completely, but this will depend on the size of your roasting container, so you might need a little more if there’s more space around the meat.

Once the duck has finished cooking, you’ll find that there are some juices that collect in the bottom of the pan, which don’t cook away because of the oil. You can let the whole thing cool and solidify to help separate the two more easily. Discard or taste it and see if you want to use it for anything else.