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

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.

Duck legs in extra virgin olive oil
Duck legs after marinating in extra virgin olive oil

View My Duck Confit Recipe

Shredded Duck Confit on a side salad


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Growing up in Hawaii, Todd Knoll developed a strong connection to the land and the ocean at an early age. As executive chef at Jordan Winery, he grows hundreds of heirloom vegetables, fruits and herbs, cooks hors d’oeuvres and meals for guests, makes olive oil, and tends to the estate’s honeybees and chickens. A visual artist at heart, Chef Knoll spends his free time with his son and wife, Nitsa Knoll, exploring the diverse terrain of Sonoma County with camera and pencil in hand, capturing moments in nature to inspire his next recipe.

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