Duck “cassoulet” - my loose adaptation of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe. DELICIOUSSSSSSSS~!!!! Though, I kinda cheated by buying pre-packaged duck legs from Costco. Other changes: used regular bacon instead of duck bacon (where the heck do you buy duck bacon locally?) and used garbanzo beans instead of cannellini. My new favorite dish. Reminds me of Paris. U_U

Duck “Cassoulet”

adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter cookbook

  • 2 14-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (I used garbanzo beans)
  • 1 big dark green leaf from the outside of a leek
  • 7 cloves peeled garlic, 3 crushed, 4 finely sliced
  • Coarse salt
  • Bourquet garni of 3 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 sprig chervil, 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf, and 6 peppercorns (I had no chervil, so I used some thyme here instead)
  • 4 slices duck bacon, fat removed from all but 1, chopped into lardoons (substituted with regular pork bacon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice (I used fire-roasted diced tomatoes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 legs duck confit, excess fat scraped off (strain the fat and save it for cooking delicious potatoes! I used pre-cooked duck legs found in the refrigerated section of Costco)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 day-old baguette, cut into coarse crumbs (or pulsed 10 times in a food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Combine the beans, leek leaf, 1 crushed clove garlic, a large pinch of salt, and the bouquet garni in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and lower the heat. Let it simmer over low heat while you proceed. (I didn’t have cooking twine to hold everything together, so they all just simmered separately and then I picked them out separately when draining.)

In a large heavy pot, cook the duck bacon over medium high heat for 3 minutes, or until beginning to render and brown. Turn the heat to low and add the onion and the 4 sliced cloves garlic. Cook for 15 minutes, keeping the heat low. Add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them with a wooden spoon, a pinch of salt, and a few healthy grinds of black pepper. Simmer on low for half an hour. (If using diced tomatoes like I did, you probably won’t need to simmer for half an hour. They looked reduced after about 15 minutes.)

(I completely omitted this next step because my duck legs had already been pre-cooked) Meanwhile, put the duck legs in a large frying pan and set it over medium heat. Let the duck legs brown deeply on both sides, about 5 minutes a side, and remove to a plate, reserving the fat in the pan. Add the olive oil to the pan along with the 2 remaining crushed cloves garlic, keeping the heat at medium. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, discard the garlic, and stir in the parsley.

At this point your tomato mixture should be cooked down. Drain the beans, reserving their cooking liquid and discarding the leek, garlic, and bouquet garni. Stir the beans into the tomato mixture, nestle in the thyme and the duck legs. Season with salt and pepper.

At this point, you can wait up to a day or two to cook the cassoulet - refrigerate the bean and duck mixture, bean liquid, and bread crumbs separately and bring to room temperature before proceeding. Or, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To finish, scatter the bread crumbs over the top of the cassoulet and evenly ladle over 1 1/2 cups of the bean cooking liquid. Bake in the 350 degree F oven until the bread crumbs are nicely browned, about 1/2 hour.


I also roasted some red potatoes and carrots with a little olive oil and rosemary as a side dish. Oh la la, parfait!