James Martin's French adventure:confit duck and bean stew recipe

Now common all over France, confit duck was originally a speciality of Gascony, where it has been made this way for centuries. 

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Serves 4


For the confit duck legs
*4 duck legs
​*500g duck fat, at room temperature
*2 bay leaves
*small bunch of thyme

For the bean stew
*1 large onion, finely diced
*4 garlic cloves, crushed
​*200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
​*50ml olive oil
​*400g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
​8400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
​*400g tin chopped tomatoes
*25g tomato purée
*large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
*sea salt and freshly
*ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.

2. For the confit duck, place the duck legs in a large ovenproof dish with a lid and cover with the duck fat. Add the bay leaves and thyme, cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours until the duck is very tender.

3. For the bean stew, place a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until softened. 

4. Add the beans and tomatoes and stir in the tomato purée. Bring to the boil and cook over medium heat for another 5 minutes, then stir in the parsley.

5. Carefully remove the confit duck legs from the dish and drain on kitchen paper. Place a non-stick frying pan over high heat, add the duck legs and fry until browned and crispy. 

6. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the bean stew.

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James Martin's French adventure (Quadrille, £20.00) Photography: Peter Cassidy

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