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Duck Confit Empanadas


Duck—sounds so exotic and complicated to prepare, right? Not really! In fact, this method is practically foolproof and leaves you enjoying incredible flavors and your guests coming back for more!   The empanada, with its crispy exterior, perfectly holds the rich flavors of the succulent pulled duck legs.   So enter the classic French answer to American pulled brisket: duck confit. – Yossi   Fun Fact: Duck confit is a classic French technique originally used as a way of preserving duck meat in its own fat.   Yield: approximately 20 empanadas


Prepare the Duck

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently prick the duck leg skin with a fork.
2. Place legs in a baking dish. Cover three-fourths of the way with olive oil. Bake for two to two and a half hours, until the meat pulls apart with a fork.
3. When the duck is cooked, gently pull apart the meat with two forks.

Prepare the Duck Confit

1. Add two tablespoons of the fat and oil that accumulated in the pan to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until soft. Add spices, pulled duck meat, and apple and sauté for another two minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the Empanadas

1. Lightly flour a work surface.
2. Place the filling in the center of the empanada round and fold over in half, to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal edges closed.
3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or pot to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry empanadas until golden brown, approximately three minutes per side.


Duck fat is incredibly flavorful. So, when you’re done with your confit, pour the leftover fat into a container and refrigerate. You can use it to add flavor to many dishes.


I once read somewhere that “confit is to deep frying what barbecuing is to grilling, i.e. low and slow vs. fast and furious.” Confit is cooking in fat or oil at a temperature high enough to tenderize the duck by breaking down the connective tissue, but still below a temperature which would cause “Maillard reaction” (the browning of meat). This ensures that the duck is soft as possible, and loses a very minimal amount of flavor and moisture.