Notes on confit / cassoulet:The important thing to remember about confit and cassoulet is that they are complex dishes that one should not expect to complete in one day. The good news is that they keep for long periods because of the preservation qualities of duck fat. By most accounts, the recipes here represent a “quick” version of confit and cassoulet. Some recipes require up to 20 involved steps. I would recommend reading up on cassoulet before attempting this or any other confit/cassoulet recipe.
Start by soaking the beans overnight, then drain them. Put them in a large saucepot and cover with water, simmer for 1 ½ hrs until al dente, put aside to cool. While the beans simmer, cut the sausage into ½-3/4 inch pieces and lightly brown them with the bacon pieces. Remove the sausage and bacon from the pan and add the carrot, onion and celery and lightly saute for 2 minutes while seasoning with salt and pepper. (your duck legs may already be salty, in addition to your bacon, so be careful with the salt).
Carefully place the confit duck legs and the sausage in a heavy casserole dish. (At least 3 quart size) Add the drained and cooked beans, the sautéed vegetables, the garlic, bacon, tomatoes and herbs. Pour the chicken stock over everything and bake covered in a 325 degree oven for 1-1/2-2 hrs. Increase the heat to 400, remove the cover, add the remaining duck fat and bread crumbs and brown the top for 7-10 minutes. Allow to rest and remove any excess fat (if you wish). Serve with a robust red wine and some crusty bread, and you have cassoulet!
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