Duck Confit, Lentils du Puy & Root Vegetables Recipe

In order to make this deliciously rustic dish from Toronto's Nota Bene restaurant, you will need to set aside some extra time. "Make sure to be patient and cook the duck slowly. The results pay off," says executive chef David Lee.


Duck Confit
2 duck legs
18 g fleur de sel
1 fresh bay leaf
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 clove of garlic, smashed
Enough duck fat to cover the legs (about 1 cup), available at most butcher shops

1 cup Lentils du Puy
1 small onion, halved
1 fresh bay leaf
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
Water to cover
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup veal stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Root Vegetables
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1 head of celeriac, peeled, trimmed and chopped into large dice
1/2 head of butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-cm batons
5 cipollini onions, peeled and trimmed
2 small turnips, cut into large dice
Butter for cooking


Step 1: To make confit, the night before, rub duck legs with salt, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorn and garlic clove and let marinate overnight.

Step 2: The next day, wipe off cure and place duck legs in medium saucepan with enough duck fat to cover. Heat at a very low temperature until meat is tender and pulls away from bone, approximately 2 hours. Remove legs from fat, keeping intact on bone. Reserve fat, setting aside to cool.

Step 3: Meanwhile, bring lentils and water to a boil in a saucepan, add onion, bay leaf and thyme and simmer until lentils are tender, about an hour. Season with salt and pepper, drain and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.

Step 4: Preheat oven to 400°F.

Step 5: Toss vegetables and onions in 1 tbsp vegetable oil, season with salt. Heat 2 large, oven-safe frying pans on high. Add 1?2 tbsp oil to each pan. When oil is hot, add half the mixed root vegetables to each pan. Allow the vegetables to cook on high for 2-3 minutes, until slightly golden. Add a few tsp of butter to each pan and transfer to hot oven.

Step 6: Shake pan every 5 minutes so vegetables do not stick. Remove when deeply coloured and tender, about 30-40 minutes.

Step 7: While root vegetables are in the oven, heat 2 tbsp of reserved duck fat on high in a heavy-bottomed (preferably cast iron) pan. When fat is hot, add the confit duck legs skin side down and cook on high for 2 minutes, until skin begins to colour. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, being careful not to burn duck, until skin is deep brown and crisp, approximately 10 minutes.

Step 8: As the duck skin crisps, heat chicken and veal stocks in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, allow liquid to reduce slightly, then add cooked lentils. Season with salt and pepper. When lentils are heated through, strain and reserve excess jus.

Step 9: To serve, place lentils in the centre of two plates and arrange roasted vegetables around them. Spoon some jus over lentils and root vegetables to glaze. Place crisp duck leg on top of each. Serve immediately.

See more recipes from David Lee.