Best Duck Confit Tacos Recipe

Duck confit tacos with a spicy cranberry salsa and purple cabbage slaw create an incredible sweet-and-sour balance of exotic flavors that will make you feel like you're on vacation in a dreamy location — or like Thanksgiving just arrived in a most exciting way. Thanks to ready-made, succulent shredded duck confit meat, a quickly prepared purple cabbage slaw, warm corn tortillas, and spicy cranberry sauce, these delicious duck confit tacos, brought to you by food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table, make a quite luxurious and unique meal.

The combination of perky, zesty cabbage slaw and a spicy cranberry salsa really brings the juicy, fatty duck meat to life — and pairing it with a dab of sour cream provides a perfect creamy counterbalance to the whole feast. Serve these duck confit tacos with some white wine, and you've got yourself a classy dinner that everyone in your home will enjoy!

Gather the ingredients for duck confit tacos

The fancy ingredient in these duck confit tacos is the shredded duck confit meat — but these days, you can find that in many big supermarkets. Typically, pre-cooked and shredded duck confit meat is sold frozen or refrigerated. If you cannot find pre-shredded meat, simply buy duck confit legs, cook them according to the package instructions, and then shred them.

For the spicy cranberry salsa, you will need fresh or frozen cranberries, jalapeño peppers, lime zest and juice, sugar, water, and apple cider vinegar. For the purple cabbage slaw, pull together extra-virgin olive oil, ground cumin, and more limes. And finally, for assembling the tacos, you will need corn tortillas (Flour tortillas also work, if you prefer.), fresh cilantro leaves, several lime wedges, sour cream, and more jalapeños, if desired.

Sear the shredded duck confit meat

The first step to making the perfect duck confit tacos is to sear the shredded duck confit meat. This helps bring it to life and improve its texture by creating a combination of crispy ends and juicy meat. 

Remove the shredded duck confit meat from the package. Set a nonstick pan to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and duck meat to the pan. Cook over medium heat, until the meat is hot and browned in spots, about five minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside. If you are short on time, you can of course warm the shredded duck confit meat in the microwave.

Cook the spicy cranberry salsa

The spicy cranberry salsa is the ultimate star of this taco, so don't skip it! It's just the right combination of spicy, sour, and sweet, and it really works well with the fatty duck meat.

Finely dice ½ jalapeño pepper. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, diced ½ jalapeño pepper, sugar, peel of 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon of water. Set to low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Add the apple cider vinegar, juice from ½ lime, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Increase the heat to medium, and cook until all the cranberries have burst, another 10 minutes. Taste and correct seasonings.

Prepare the cabbage slaw

The other acidic, fresh ingredient in these tacos is the purple cabbage slaw. Of course, you can also use regular cabbage or a mix of the two!

To prepare the cabbage slaw, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the olive oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons of lime juice, cumin, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Whisk well to combine. Add the purple cabbage, and massage with your hands until all the sauce is equally distributed. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to marinade — the longer the purple cabbage slaw will sit, the more its flavors will marry. (The slaw can also be made a day ahead).

Toast the tortillas

The perfect tacos require warm, pliable corn tortillas. For the true taco experience, we recommend that you take the time to warm up your tortillas. This step will separate lackluster tacos from an incredible, chef-worthy dish all your friends will talk about for months.

To toast the tortillas, use a cast-iron or a nonstick pan. Do not grease it, but just bring it to medium heat. Toast each tortilla on both sides, about 30 seconds to one minute per side. For the ultimate time-saving shortcut, warm your tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Assemble the duck confit tacos

And now, after the work on the individual components, let's make some magic happen by bringing all the parts of these duck confit tacos together.

To assemble the tacos, set yourself with plenty of room — your table, a kitchen island, or just a counter will all do. Set up all the ingredients around you. Prepare a tray or plate for the assembled tacos. And finally, set up a cutting board where you'll put the tacos together.

To put each taco together, top each tortilla with shredded duck confit meat, 1 or 2 tablespoons of the purple cabbage slaw, and 1 tablespoon of the spicy cranberry salsa. You can also add some optional dabs of sour cream and jalapeño slices. Finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Repeat until you run out of corn tortillas and filling.

Serve immediately

Tacos are best served fresh, so don't wait too long before biting into one of these duck confit tacos! You will be blown away by the juicy, luxe texture of the duck meat. Then, your palate will be brought to life with the texture of crisp purple cabbage slaw. A punch of sweetness and heat from the spicy cranberry salsa with punctuate the entire experience — and the dabs of sour cream will tone down the whole affair, adding creaminess and softness.

Serve the tacos with lime wedges and additional sour cream for people who are sensitive to spice. (You should omit the additional jalapeño slices for those who are spice intolerant.)

If preparing the duck confit tacos ahead of time, all the components can be prepped up to two days in advance and kept in separate containers in the refrigerator. However, only toast the tortillas when ready to serve. Leftover tacos will keep for three to four days. Enjoy, and know that this recipe will certainly be a family favorite!

Best Duck Confit Tacos Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
Serve these duck confit tacos with some white wine, and you've got yourself a classy dinner that everyone will enjoy!
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
8
Tacos
duck confit taco on plate
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (7 ½-ounce) package shredded duck confit meat, pre-cooked and frozen or refrigerated
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 limes, peels + juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 6 to 8 corn tortillas
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, diced
Optional Ingredients
  • ½ cup sour cream, for serving
  • Extra jalapeño slices, for serving
Directions
  1. Set a nonstick pan to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and the duck meat to the pan.
  2. Cook over medium heat, until the meat is hot and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Then, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  3. Finely dice ½ jalapeño pepper.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, diced ½ jalapeño pepper, sugar, peel of 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon of water.
  5. Set to low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the apple cider vinegar, juice from ½ lime, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  7. Increase the heat to medium, and cook until all the cranberries have burst, another 10 minutes. Taste and correct seasonings.
  8. To prepare the cabbage slaw, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the olive oil, 2 to 3 tablespoons of lime juice, cumin, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Whisk well to combine.
  9. Add the purple cabbage, and massage with your hands until all the sauce is equally distributed.
  10. Set aside for at least 10 minutes to marinade — the longer the purple cabbage slaw will sit, the more its flavors will marry.
  11. To assemble the tacos, warm up the corn tortillas in the microwave or in a medium-sized pan.
  12. Top each tortilla with shredded duck confit meat, 1 to 2 tablespoons of the purple cabbage slaw, and 1 tablespoon of the spicy cranberry salsa.
  13. Add optional dabs of sour cream and jalapeño slices.
  14. Finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
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