Duck Confit Recipe: Substitute Olive Oil for Duck Fat

There is always a batch of duck confit in some stage of preparation in our kitchen at Jordan. It’s a French-inspired winery after all. One of the key ingredients in a traditional duck confit recipe is the duck fat, which isn’t easy for most home cooks to source pre-made. Rendering your own fat from the duck takes more time than most people have, so this easy recipe includes my substitute alternative for duck fat: extra virgin olive oil. I did my first Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil Duck Confit recipe experiment for a Halloween at Jordan party, and it turned out great. The dish retained its savory taste and texture with an added brightness from the acidity in the oil. Select a traditional duck confit recipe and simply use an equal amount of quality extra virgin olive oil in lieu of fat.

Duck confit prepped before extra virgin olive oil marinade
Duck confit prepped before extra virgin olive oil marinade

According to Fat Secret, duck fat and a typical extra virgin olive oil have about the same amount of calories and overall fat, but has less than half the saturated fat found in duck fat. My decision to use extra virgin olive oil as a substitute, however, wasn’t driven by calories; it was all about which of the two is reportedly better for the body. As I mentioned in my recent olive oil sensory tasting blog post, according to scientists, ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil, such as Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil, typically have greater levels of antioxidants than lower-quality olive oils. The more pungent and fresh the olive oil (Jordan is milled within six hours of picking), the higher the antioxidants. Using olive oil in place of duck fat also means chefs have a left-over, infused duck oil for myriad uses in other recipes. It’s a win-win.

This Extra Virgin Olive Oil Duck Confit will become one of my go-to recipes for holiday dinner parties, as it can be prepared in advance and used as a rich, savory salad topping or simply as a charcuterie platter accoutrement. It’s also a perfect food pairing for Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

Some tips below on how to make any duck confit recipe made with olive oil even better.

duck legs with extra virgin olive oil mixed together
Day 1: Put your marinade together and then toss the duck legs in extra virgin olive oil instead of duck fat.  For the following two mornings, stir the duck legs and olive oil. 
cooked duck legs
On Day 3, toss the legs once more and then, later in the day, brush off the marinade and cook in fresh extra virgin olive oil. 

View My Duck Confit Recipe

Shredded Duck Confit on a side salad


    • Kelly
    • April 30, 2020

    How do you store the duck-infused olive oil, and how long does it last?

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