What To Serve With Duck Confit – What Pairs Best By A Chef

Wondering what to serve with duck confit? Common accompaniments include crispy potatoes roasted in duck fat and garlic. Pair your confit with a refreshing salad and a zesty vinaigrette dressing for a lighter alternative.

Searching for fresh and innovative dinner party menu ideas can be challenging. Consider preparing duck confit, a delightful dish guaranteed to impress your guests.

Discover new creative meal ideas with our comprehensive guide on the best dishes to pair with duck confit, ensuring a memorable and delicious dining experience.

What To Serve With Duck Confit

Duck confit, or confit de canard, is a traditional French dish commonly found in Parisian bistros and rural French restaurants. Duck is a prominent ingredient in French cuisine, and many consider duck confit the best way to cook this rich and flavorful meat.

Duck confit with sauce being poured on. Credit: Unsplash
Duck confit with sauce being poured on. Credit: Unsplash

Duck confit is made from duck legs slow-cooked in duck fat until the meat becomes tender and juicy, with the skin crisped on high heat before serving. It can be described as a luxurious version of roasted chicken legs, with a delectable crispy skin atop juicy, delicious meat.

Read also: Best Ways To Reheat Duck Confit: A Chef’s Reheating Tips

The term “confit” means preserved, as the duck meat was traditionally slow-cooked in fat and stored for later consumption. Although this preservation method is less common today, it still results in succulent and tasty meat.

So, what is best to serve with duck confit?

Classic French accompaniments for duck confit include pommes de terre à la sarladaise – potatoes cooked in duck fat and garlic. For a homemade version, serve duck confit with small, crispy potatoes cooked in goose or duck fat.

For a healthier option, try simple boiled potatoes tossed in butter or olive oil.

Another French favorite is braised cabbage with red wine and apples. This sweet and tangy dish complements the dark, delicious duck meat.

For a healthier meal, serve duck confit with a salad. Choose dark, peppery greens like arugula and mustard, dressed in a zingy vinaigrette that cuts through the duck fat.

Duck confit also pairs well with rich, sweet sauces made from dark fruits like plums or unconventional options like dark chocolate and red wine sauce.

Leftover crispy roast duck can be incorporated into Asian dishes like vegetable stir-fry with hoisin sauce over noodles, Chinese duck fried rice, or Cantonese roast duck soup.

What Flavors Pair Well With Duck?

Duck meat is known for its rich, robust flavor and can be served with interesting and unusual dishes. It pairs well with sweet and tangy flavors like balsamic reductions, hoisin sauce, caramelized onions, and fruit.

Duck also complements hot, spicy flavors, standing up to cinnamon, fennel, Chinese five-spice, and other Asian pairings.

For a more subtle approach, pair duck with vegetables and potatoes, allowing the delicious flavor to shine.

Crisp duck confit with side garnish.
Crisp duck confit with side garnish.

What Is A Suitable Substitute For Duck Confit?

While it’s challenging to find a direct substitute for a classic and unique dish like duck confit, you can modify the recipe to suit your preferences and requirements.

This cooking method works best with poultry meats, so you might consider replacing the duck with goose or chicken. Keep in mind that the flavor may not be as intense, so adjust your accompanying dishes accordingly. If you seek a healthier and easier cooking method, consider using olive oil instead of duck fat.

For those with specific dietary needs, it’s essential to create a dish that can rival duck confit in quality and taste. Certain vegetables, such as beetroot, eggplant, and parsnips, can be prepared similarly to duck confit. Crispy stuffed peppers or zucchini also make excellent vegetarian or vegan alternatives.

What Drinks Pair Well With Duck Confit?

For dinner drinks, consider serving duck with a full-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir, Bordeaux, or Cabernet Sauvignon.

For white wine enthusiasts, opt for a robust white wine made from grapes like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc that can stand up to the rich duck flavor.

For non-alcoholic options, consider a sweet, fruity juice drink. We recommend dark blackberry juice mixed with sparkling water for added effervescence.

Speaking of fizz, don’t hesitate to serve sparkling wine alongside your duck confit. Sometimes a dish this delicious deserves a celebration!

Is Duck Confit Easy to Make?

Preparing duck confit may seem daunting for inexperienced cooks. How can you avoid dry, chewy meat and rubbery skin? What’s the secret to perfect duck confit?

It’s easier than you think! You can purchase pre-cooked canned duck legs submerged in duck fat. For a dinner party, simply crisp the skin by baking.

If you prefer making duck confit from scratch, the recipe is straightforward but requires ample cooking time. First, season the duck with herbs, salt, and pepper and let it rest overnight, a traditional method dating back to when duck confit was stored for months. The next day, rinse off the salt to avoid over-salting the duck fat.

Slow-roast the seasoned duck for 2-3 hours, submerged in duck fat. Though duck legs are traditional, breasts work well too. If using a whole duck, portion it before roasting.

After cooking, let the duck cool or refrigerate overnight for a make-ahead dinner party. When ready to serve, remove excess fat and crisp the skin by baking or pan-frying until golden.

Now you have delicious duck confit, but what should accompany it? Let’s explore!

How Long Can Duck Confit Be Stored?

Duck confit was initially a method for preserving duck for a longer time. This process involves several steps but is worthwhile if you have a large amount of duck to store. The duck’s flavor will also improve over time, making this method worth trying.

The common technique involves curing raw duck portions overnight in a salty seasoning to help preserve the confit for longer.

  • The next day, rinse the cure off and thoroughly dry the duck before cooking.
  • Next, slowly cook the duck in its fat until tender and soft.
  • Store the cooked meat in a jar along with a generous amount of duck fat.
  • Heat the fat and pour it over the duck, filling air gaps and covering the meat.

When prepared in this manner, duck confit can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.


What Do The French Serve With Confit Duck?

The French often serve confit duck with dishes like Pommes de Terre à la Sarladaise (potatoes cooked in duck fat and garlic) or braised cabbage seasoned with red wine and apples.

What Is A Traditional Accompaniment For Duck?

Traditional accompaniments for duck include roasted or sautéed potatoes, braised red cabbage, and fruity sauces made with cherries, plums, or oranges.

What Vegetables Go Well With Duck?

Vegetables that pair well with duck include asparagus, green beans, Brussels sprouts, roasted root vegetables, and spinach, all of which complement the rich flavors of the duck.


In summary, duck confit is a versatile and delectable dish that can be paired with various flavors and accompaniments.

From classic French sides to unconventional sauces, there are endless options to create a memorable meal.

Choose the perfect drink pairing, and you’ll have a dinner party menu that is sure to impress.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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