I haven't tried this recipe but I can tell it would be good so am giving it 4 stars. I wanted to say that I use my electric slow cooker for confit garlic which seems a similar procedure, and it works very well. Even the slow cooker can get a little hotter than I want after several hours, so i use a removable wall timer (the kind that turns lights on and off when you are away from home) which I set for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for the remainder of the cooking time. This ensures that the cooker doesn't get too hot.
Use a crock pot to cook the confit, it works perfectly! No need to even bother with constant checking, it never gets too hot. Cook for about 6-8 hours, a little more better than a little less. I order the raw fat and render it myself cheaper and rendering fat is easy. Liberty Ducks has both raw duck fat and bags of duck legs for sale on their website. They are in Sonoma,ca, I don't know how widely they deliver.
I love to make this and put it over risotto
I cut this recipe down because I had to buy a whole duck to get duck legs. I only did two legs. I agree that the stovetop does seem a little unreliable for making this and it's a long time to keep an eye on the temperature. After reading the first review, I was very worried about even making duck confit. Instead I ended up cooking the two legs of my duck in a 200 degree oven for about 4 hours, maybe a little less. I used about 3/4 cup of duck fat rendered from the duck I bought and a couple of cups of rendered duck fat I bought from the grocery store, but as the stuff is not very cheap, I substituted about 1.5 to 2 cups of olive oil to completely cover the legs. It seemed to work out just fine. Other than using the stovetop, this recipe worked out quite well.
I was sadly disappointed in this recipe given the expense of the ingredients, $25.00 for the duck legs, and $8.99 per lb for the three pounds of duck fat this recipe calls for. I carefully followed the directions and found the temp impossible to control on top of the stove with the lid on the dutch oven. I have a gas stove and my burners have very low temp control. I have never made confit before, and will never use this recipe again. My duck legs were grossly over done and I am almost in tears because my intent was to make the Cassoulet recipe in theFeb/Mar 2010 magazine and I can not afford to start over. Why wouldnt you put the legs in the oven set at 200 for 2hours or more?