By Chef Ella Freyinger

March 2021

I will never forget the fist duck confit I had the pleasure of enjoying. I will also never forget the short while first attempt at MAKING duck confit. I will spare you the details but it was an absolute disaster, user error I am sure. In the years since I have made endless variations on duck confit and always come back to the simplest form. I love to add the medicine of juniper berries which create a beautiful depth and bring out all of the wild flavors of the duck. The mulberry adds a sweet tang along with the bitter greens salad, cutting through the richness of our feathered friends. This is a special meal that I highly recommend you have ready in your fridge. The duck confit can last up to 1 month in the fridge and is really a beautiful pick me up to make any meal feel incredibly special.


  • 4 duck legs
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 2 shallots, peeled and cut in quarters
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 cups duck fat
  • 3 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 pound baby potatoes
  • 1 pint mulberries
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 small head frisée, torn into large pieces
  • ½ head radicchio, leaves separated
  • 2 spears endive, leaves separated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Add the parsley, shallots and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add half of the mixture to a small baking dish where the duck legs can fit snuggly. Add
    the duck legs on top and season them with kosher salt. Add the remaining mixture on top, making sure the duck is evenly coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 225° F. Remove the duck from the cure and rinse away any you are not able to get off under cold water. Dry the duck legs as much as possible and place into a baking dish just large enough to fit them. You do not want lots of extra space. Add the thyme springs and juniper berries.
  • Meanwhile, gently melt the duck fat in a 4 quart saucepan. Once melted, pour the fat over the duck legs to just cover them, reserving any additional fat. Cover tightly with parchment paper and then aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 4 hours. Allow the duck to cool before covering and placing in the fridge where it can be stored for up to 4 weeks.
  • Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with 1 inch of water. Season the water with salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
  • Add the Dijon, lemon juice, a heavy drizzle of olive oil, salt and black pepper to a large bowl and whisk together. Add the greens and toss to coat. Adjust the seasonings as well as adding more olive oil, if needed.
  • Add the honey to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the honey has become a darker shade of brown and is no longer bubbling. Add the mulberries and vinegar, cooking another 15 minutes until the liquid is reduced by 1/3. Carefully add the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Remove as much duck fat a possible from the legs and place into the skillet, skin-side-down. Cook until the skin has browned and crisped. Turn the duck over, add the cooked potatoes to the pan and place into the oven. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Return the pan to the stovetop, being careful to use a kitchen towel or oven mit as you finish the cooking. Glaze each piece of duck with the mulberry gastrique.
  • Serve the duck and potatoes in the skillet with the bitter greens salad alongside.
  • Enjoy!