The night before, rub the salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and garlic on the duck legs, pack them together, skin side up on a single layer in a dish, cover in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and refrigerate.
The next day, preheat the oven to 140C/275F.
Gently wipe the duck legs down to brush most of the salt off. Don’t wash with water as this will wash off the flavour and make the duck legs too moist.
Pack the legs closely together, skin side down, in one layer in a large baking dish.
Pour the wine over the duck legs and cover in foil. Place in the oven to cook for 2 hours. During this time, the fat will start to render from the duck. Once cooked, the duck will be lovely and tender, and you can eat it right away if you can’t wait for the roasting stage!
Once the duck is cooked, take out of the pan and leave the duck legs and pan of liquid to cool separately.
Place the duck legs in a bowl, skim the fat off the top of the cooking liquid and spread the fat over and around the duck.
Cover in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (you probably won’t have enough fat to submerge the duck legs, but this is fine if you’re planning on eating the duck in the next day or two. If you want to keep the duck in the fridge for longer – i.e. a week or two, you can add in a jar of duck/goose fat.
About 40 mins before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Then put the whole baby potatoes in a pan, cover in water, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 -20 mins until tender (depending on size of the potatoes).
Meanwhile, take the duck out of the fridge. Scoop two tablespoons of the fat from the duck and place in a metal baking tray. Place in the oven to heat up.
Place the duck legs on a second baking tray, skin side up. Leave a bit of the cooking fat on them, but they don’t need to be dripping in fat.
Drain the potatoes, once tender and squash them slightly with a fork. Transfer them to the baking tray that's already in the oven and carefully turn them over to coat them in the hot oil. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Place the potatoes and the tray with the duck legs in the oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the rhubarb and sugar to a small oven-proof dish and cover with tinfoil.
When the duck and potatoes have been in the oven for 15 minutes, place the rhubarb in the oven.
Cook the duck, potatoes and rhubarb in the oven for a further 15 minutes until the potatoes and duck are golden brown. Note 1
During this time, melt the butter in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. Add the baby spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the duck, potatoes, spinach and rhubarb between four plates and serve.
Note 1: Check the rhubarb after 10 mins, as you want the rhubarb to be soft and to have released a bit of liquid. If it overcooks, the rhubarb will break up and release a lot of liquid (still very tasty though, so I’d serve it anyway relabelled as ‘rhubarb compote’!).Leftovers If you have leftovers, these go well with a few salad leaves and some sliced spring onion. If you have any leftover rhubarb and/or rhubarb liquid, whisk this up with a tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning. You can also add a bit of balsamic or white wine vinegar if you like your salad dressing zingy..
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes! This recipe is already gluten free..
Can I make confit duck ahead?
Yes, in fact it really needs to be made ahead. If you want to make it more than the one day ahead described in the instructions, then at step 7, make sure the duck is completely submerged in fat, before being stored in a sealed, air-tight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for a few weeks (and likely a lot longer) that way..
Can I freeze confit duck?
Yes, freeze at step 8. Then defrost overnight in the refrigerator before continuing with step 9..Nutritional Information is per serving