Ancho Chile Barbecued Duck Leg Confit

recipe courtesy of Chef Dave McClary, Chef de Cuisine at The Blue Point, Duck, North Carolina 

Serves 6 to 8

Ancho Chile Barbecue Sause 

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion 
  • 1⁄2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1⁄4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 dried ancho chiles 1 cup water 
  • 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup molasses 
Sauté onion and garlic in a small amount of butter for seven minutes on medium heat, until soft. Add remainder of the ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée and season with salt and pepper.

Smoked Cheddar Grits

  • 11⁄2 cups good quality stone ground grits, white or yellow
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups milk 11⁄2 cups smoked cheddar, grated
  • 2 Tbsp butter
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat stock, milk and butter to a simmer. Sprinkle grits slowly into liquid while whisking with a wire whisk. Adjust heat to very low and cover, but stir often while cooking. Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until grits are soft and mixture is creamy and thickened. Add cheese and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Note: Stir often, especially after adding the grits, as they will fall to the bottom and can easily stick to the pot. If sticking does occur at all during the cooking process, simply take the pan off the heat for five to ten minutes and the grits should release; then return to the heat and finish cooking, stirring often.
Vanilla Black Pepper Picled Plubs
  • 8 ripe black plums 
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 11⁄2 cups sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1⁄2 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped
The plums should be pickled at least two days in advance. Split plums in half by cutting around the pit, then discard pit and slice each half into four wedges. Warm the rest of the ingredients together just to dissolve the sugar, then cool to room temperature. Pour mixture over the plums and refrigerate for at least two days. When ready to serve, remove plums from liquid and let come to room temperature.


6–8 duck legs, cooked confit style (salted and cooked slowly in its own fat until tender)
Either pull meat from duck legs, leave whole, or separate thighs from legs. If you choose to pull the meat from the legs, you may warm it with an amount of barbecue sauce to your liking in a saucepan on low heat on the stove. Or you may brush the legs with the sauce and warm in the oven or on an outdoor grill. Place desired amount of grits on the plate, then set duck meat or leg beside/on grits, and garnish with three to four plum segments. Enjoy with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet!.


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