Spinach Risotto with Duck Confit; the potager

I realize that many of you will not be making this risotto using duck confit.

I looked at a few US supermarket websites and it wasn’t listed.

Amazon, of course, carries it but it’s rather expensive – and appeared a lot fancier than the can I usually buy. They did have one similar can for $40.00 plus shipping.

I usually pay $10 – $15, depending on when, where and what brand I buy.

The can normally contains 5 leg / thigh pieces. I roast 3 of them for 15 – 20 minutes to crisp the skin and heat them – that’s one meal.

The remaining 2 I use in pasta or risotto.

Of course there is the added bonus of the fat. Yes, the duck is in there, under the fat. That’s what confit is – meat preserved in fat.

Duck fat is a healthy fat. Unlike butter it’s very soft at room temperature and I would compare it to bacon fat for frying potatoes.

It’s wonderful.

We can buy just the fat but why not get the duck, too? It’s a messy job, but, using my hands, I clean all the fat off the duck, put it in a container and store it in the fridge.

It lasts several months – then it’s time for more duck!

For those not having a ready supply of duck confit, you can make this risotto with ham or sausage or chicken or even white beans for an all veggie version.

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Spinach Risotto with Duck Confit

Risotto is so easy to make…. Really.
It is my go-to method for a quick, one-dish dinner and always to use up leftovers.
Don’t let other opinions intimidate you – it’s simple.
And you don’t have to stir constantly….

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Risotto
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 2/3 cup (4.2oz, 125gr) Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) dry, white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups (18oz, 540ml) chicken broth
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated  (about 2oz, 60gr)
  • Condimenti
  • 6 green garlic, sliced, including green tops
  • 2 duck leg / thigh confit, skin and fat removed, off bone and cut into pieces
  • 5oz (150gr) spinach, large leaves chopped
  • 1 tbs duck fat or olive oil


  • Heat broth and keep hot over low heat.
  • In medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat.  Add shallot and sauté until transparent.
  • Add rice and sauté stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes until rice has white center.
  • Add wine and stir.
  • Start condimenti.
  • When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of broth, stir.
  • When broth is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring.
  • Before the last 1/3 cup taste a few kernels of rice.  They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked.  If more broth is needed add it 1/6 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed.
  • At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid and it will not hold its shape on a plate.
  • Stir in the Parmesan and condimenti, spoon into a bowl or risotto platter and serve immediately.
  • It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be very stiff.
  • Condimenti
  • Heat duck fat or oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add green garlic or onion / garlic and sauté until tender.
  • Add duck and heat through.
  • Add spinach and stir well. Cover and keep warm until needed. Spinach will wilt as it warms.


Green garlic is immature garlic, pulled before the cloves form. It looks like a green onion. Substitute green onions, sliced the same and 2 cloves garlic, minced.
Risotto should
thick but not stiff – there will still be visible liquid. It will thicken up very quickly after being removed from heat..

Spinach Risotto with Duck Confit

That was our last risotto of the season.

Summer cooking is here and it’s time for grilling and salads.

Now if the weather and potager would just cooperate.

I might have mentioned that my tomato seeds didn’t germinate. So… 2 weeks ago I stuck the pumpkin and summer squash in the same pots.

The tomato seeds finally cam up…. along with everything else. I pulled them out of the post with the acorn squash seedlings.

I planted the blue pumpkins and the big tomato plants I bought at the nursery.

We’re eating salads from the lettuce sets I put in a few weeks ago; and the onions are doing well – so far.

Now if we could have more than one day of sunshine at a time I’d be happy.

11 thoughts on “Spinach Risotto with Duck Confit; the potager”

  1. I would imagine the risotto isn’t quite the same without the confit which is too bad but no, I am sure, rural as we are, I will never, ever see this. So I’ll have to try it the rural way.

    I didn’t pick up my plants because we got our first ‘warm’ night on Saturday. Today, it’s been thundering and storming and just all around nasty and the temps have dropped 10 degrees in the past hour. I’ll have to pick them up Wednesday when she’s open again. That will at least give me some time to get the garden in order.

    And…here comes another thunderstorm…

    • May is a terrible month. One’s expectations are high for spring and it almost always disappoints lol
      One beautiful day followed by rain and cold…. or snow if you live in the Midwest

      • I do live in the midwest. Michigan. We had frost warnings two nights ago. It’s been raining and storming for a week. The ground is saturated. I’m just glad I’ve got a raised garden. It’s easier to control the moisture that way. But I’ll have to pick up my plants today and decide if I’ll keep them in the garage a few more days or plant them now. And hope it warms up :/

  2. I love seeing photos of your garden. We are looking forward to seeing how things work out in our new garden (near Agen). So far, the lettuce plants have just sat there and then died off – so no salads for us yet. Do you carry on with lettuce during the summer or does it bolt? The mangetout seeds we planted have shot up to knee height and have finally got some flowers. This year we have bought tomato plants but will try seeds next year. We found a local grower who does varieties we like – Rose de berne, Noir de crimee, Cornue but also some unusual ones – Banana legs ( a yellow cornue) and Poupi (a blue tomato that she grew herself and has got registered). Sould make for interesting salads later in the summer. 🙂

    • I plant romaine from seed so that we have lettuce until about the first week in July. It;s the most tolerant of hot weather but mid July is about as far as it goes. Engrainetoi is a good site for seeds. I love Rose de Berne… I have 3 this year lol I didn’t try a blue one…. next year. Bonne chance !

  3. Hi Katie, as an Scottish expat in the USA, I am missing duck and all it’s wonders here, I love your idea of using duck confit in a risotto. To satisfy my duck cravings, I’ve maybe gone a little bit overboard recently and each week I’m buying a whole frozen duck from the Asian supermarket, and turning the breasts into prosciutto, the legs into confit, the carcasses into rilletts, the bones into stock, the fat rendered for cooking and the skin into grattons. I love how many wonderful things duck can be turned into to and hope to live in Europe again to be able to do it cheaper.

    • Wow ! You are ambitious ! I am very glad I can just buy the confit in a tin lol. At least you have access to an good Asian supermarket. I have a friend with ducks who makes her own confit. I really should take the opportunity to learn. Maybe next fall….. I’m not sure I could handle the butchering, plucking and cleaning part yet, tho….

  4. Mmmmm… duck fat! J’adore potatoes oven-roasted in duck fat!

    At least one of the vendors at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto sell duck legs ideal for making confit. And lots of stores sell whole ducks that can be cut up as Stuart mentioned above and turned into various duck delicacies. I’d be surprised if the high-end supermarkets didn’t have tins of duck confit on their shelves. Surely Whole Foods carries duck confit. (I’m not generally allowed to go into those fancy stores because I don’t own the proper designer clothes and shoes – I don’t even know what is de rigueur…. 😉 ) There are a couple of places downtown that sell very good, though pricey, prepared food at their fancy deli counters. One of those shops imports all kinds of things – they must have tinned duck confit. There must be places like that in at least the larger centres in the USA….

    We get fantastic rendered lard from our butcher. I wonder if they have duck fat too.

    Your risotto sounds fantastic.

    • In the fall, when the locals are making their own confit, one can buy dick fat in buckets. A bit much for the two of us. I saw duck confit on Amazon – at outrageous prices. Whole Foods is a fancy store? I had know idea – being so out of touch with all that lol
      I remember my mother rendering lard. It’s not a fond memory.

      • We’ve never really wanted to render our own lard. Our butcher does SUCH a nice job and it’s not terribly expensive. I looked for duck legs there the other day. Alas, no duck legs and no duck fat. But they have beautiful free-run chickens, and their house-smoked bacon is superb. (They also sell rabbit but it is insanely expensive. Surprising, that. Don’t rabbits eat relatively cheaply on various greens? And don’t they also breed like … errrm… rabbits?)

        Yes. Whole Foods is quite fancy here in Toronto. I saw a PBS program about the actual Whole Foods in California and was amazed that it’s supposed to be for regular folk. Perhaps it is in its various locations in the USA… and perhaps it isn’t here because of the astronomical prices that we have to pay for shipping the organic produce to Canada.

        • You could do chicken confit. I’ve seen it in the shops but never tried it… Why would I when I have duck! I’ve never been in Whole Foods. Sad that the supermarkets that try to sell healthy food charge so much for it. Sad that healthy food in general is expensive. I read an article that if the subsidies went to vegetable farmers instead of corn growers, fruit and veg would be cheaper and fast food more expensive…. Sounded like a good idea to me!

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