It might be tough to develop new and interesting dishes for your next dinner party when you don’t know what to serve.
Perhaps you’re familiar with Duck Confit, a French dish that’s so flavorful you’ll never tire of eating it.
Duck confit is duck leg that has been salted and cooked in its fat (typically goose or duck fat).
It’s then stored in that same fat to prevent it from spoiling.
The result is a dish with a rich, fatty flavor without the heaviness of large portions of duck meat.
Duck confit can be found at many restaurants and even grocery stores (typically as an appetizer).
It is a dish that is often served as the main course.
But what to serve as a side dish? Here are 7 of the best side dishes to serve with duck confit.
From creamy mashed potatoes to crispy brussels sprouts, there’s something for everyone.
So get cooking and enjoy a delicious meal with your family or friends.
What to Serve with Duck Confit? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Duck confit is an extraordinary dish that has a very specific flavor.
The meat itself, prepared in this way, is unique- it’s salty, tender, and intensely flavored.
It deserves to be served with equally flavorful side dishes to complete your meal.
Each of the following side dishes will pair well with duck confit.
Therefore, for this dish, you should consider including one or more of them when planning your entrée.
Each has its unique flavor, texture, and appearance that perfectly complements your main course.
1 – Roasted Carrots and Fennel
The carrots and fennel in this simple side dish add wonderful color and provide an interesting texture and great flavor.
Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness, which is balanced by the saltiness of the feta cheese.
This side dish is simple, but it can be dressed up with some walnuts or pecans for added crunch.
It is wonderful served with any seafood – the sweetness of the carrots pairs perfectly with lobster or shrimp.
This quick and easy side dish will complement your next fish entrée delightfully.
2 – Green Salad with Strawberries
This simple salad is a great way to bring color and sweetness to your meal.
The combination of strawberries, spinach, and creamy goat cheese makes for an interesting flavor offset by the tartness of balsamic vinegar.
Tossing the spinach with some candied walnuts or pecans adds a nice crunchiness to this salad.
You can also dress it up with some sunflower seeds or dried cranberries for added color and flavor.
This side dish is best served cold, so it’s perfect for serving alongside some duck confit with apricots.
It would be great on the menu of a spring picnic or barbecue as well.
3 – Creamy Pasta Salad
This salad is creamy, cheesy, and flavorful.
The pasta itself is wonderful with some fresh vegetables like zucchini or peas.
You can even add cooked chicken for some extra protein.
Since this meal pairs perfectly with so many different main courses, you should feel free to adjust the veggies based on what you’re serving.
The creamy dressing makes the salad special, so be sure to use quality mayonnaise and extra-sharp cheddar cheese in this dish.
The whole-wheat pasta adds a nice chewy texture that will go well with roasted duck or pork chops.
It also keeps the meal balanced by adding some fiber to your plate.
4 – Pairing Wines (Pinor Noir, Bordeaux)
Duck confit is an excellent entrée for pairing with your favorite red wine.
To complement the savory flavors of this dish, you should serve a Pinot Noir or Bordeaux that has been aged for at least five years.
They can range in price from quite expensive to only slightly more than regular reds.
These wines are complex and full-bodied without being too heavy.
Pinot Noirs that have been aged for at least five years can be very expensive, but they are perfect with duck confit.
This age also provides a fruitier taste to the wine, which pairs nicely with the dish’s flavor profile.
Bordeaux from this year typically cost less than a Pinot Noir.
However, they are still quite expensive and should be reserved for special occasions.
5 – Sicilian-Style Skillet Brown Rice
The rice in this dish is flavored with plenty of herbs, such as rosemary and oregano.
The tomatoes add a nice sweetness that pairs perfectly with duck confit, providing another layer of flavor to your meal.
Because it’s so flavorful, you can pair this side dish with pretty much any fish or meat entrée.
It would taste great with some sautéed shrimp, pan-seared chicken, or even a piece of well-seasoned swordfish.
This hearty side dish is flavorful enough to be served as an entrée for lunch.
It’s also great at dinner when paired with a salad and will provide much-needed fuel to help your family stay active throughout the day.
6 – Balsamic Roasted Squash
This recipe is very easy to prepare and requires only a few ingredients.
It’s also simple enough for even young children to help you cook, so it makes a perfect side dish for family dinners.
As the name suggests, the squash is cooked in a balsamic vinegar mixture.
This adds a nice tanginess to the dish and works well with duck confit’s savory flavor profile.
The ingredients list is also very flexible, so you can add whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand.
This recipe would work best with veggies that roast quickly, such as cherry tomatoes and zucchini.
This roasted balsamic squash is a quick and easy side dish made with any number of different vegetables.
It would go well with any fish or meat entrée, especially duck confit.
7 – Braised French Green Lentils
The French invented this dish to use up the leftover duck legs from making their traditional version.
Duck confit is a duck salted and slowly cooked in its fat until it becomes tender.
Since the lentils are braised, they have a great creamy texture which pairs well with meaty proteins like duck confit.
This dish would be perfect for a family dinner or large party.
Although duck confit will provide most of the flavor in this dish, the braised lentils are enhanced by several different spices.
This includes fresh thyme, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.
Duck confit is an excellent meal to serve alongside red wine.
Pinot Noir or Bordeaux are both great choices that will complement the flavors in this dish.
This flavorful entrée also pairs well with whole wheat pasta, which has a nice chewy texture that compliments roasted meats and duck confit.
It is important to remember that when pairing wines with foods, it’s best to go for wines that complement the flavors in the dish, not overwhelm them.
If this is your first time trying duck confit, serve it with mashed potatoes to help you get used to the different textures and flavors.
This side dish is also great alongside any protein or pasta entrée that can be served at room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best accompaniment for duck confit?
Duck confit is a classic French dish made of duck legs that have been salted, cured and slow-cooked in duck fat.
The dish is rich and flavourful, so it’s best served with sides that are light and acidic.
A simple salad of bitter greens like endive or frisee dressed with olive oil and lemon juice is an ideal accompaniment, as are roasted or steamed vegetables like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
Roasted potatoes tossed with herbs also pair well with duck confit. For a heartier side dish, consider serving creamy polenta or buttered egg noodles.
What vegetables are best with duck?
Duck is a fatty and flavourful bird, so it pairs well with vegetables that are light and acidic.
Roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, turnips and beets are excellent options for duck dishes, as are steamed or sauteed green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale or Brussels sprouts.
Roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes or crisp potato wedges are also popular accompaniments for duck.
What Flavours go well with duck?
When cooking with duck, it is important to consider the many flavours that work well together.
Sweet and acidic flavours are often used to complement the richness of duck.
Examples of these include oranges, cranberries or currents as well as honey, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
Herbs like rosemary, sage and thyme bring out the natural flavour of the duck, while garlic, ginger and chilli bring an extra kick to the dish.