When was the last time you had a rich, luscious, tender, moist turkey burger? I’m betting it is rarely and possibly even unheard of until today. These French Duck Confit Burgers with Gruyere are remarkable. Adding chopped duck confit amps up the flavor and adds an unctuousness that turkey lacks. And rendering the fat from the skin makes it just that much more succulent!
Duck confit is one of The Artist and my occasional indulgences. If you haven’t had it before it is decadent and a true treat. To confit (cone-fee) anything means to cook it slowly in its own fat, making it fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy. For duck it is typically the legs that are prepared this way.
We find ours at the butcher, gourmet grocery stores, or online. If they are vacuum-packed, they can be frozen for a month or two. I love having them on hand for special occasions and saved one just for these burgers!
These burgers are amazing! While the duck isn’t a dominant flavor, it added texture and complexity as well as much needed fat. In fact, I removed the skin from the leg (before dicing the rest of the meat), put it in a small saucepan over medium heat, and browned it to render the fat and added any extra fat that was still on the duck leg. Then I poured that fat over the turkey meat for a little more luxury and moisture.
Keep an eye out for overcooking the turkey. Because it is so lean, it can quickly become dry and tough. Pull the burgers about 5-degrees under the ideal temperature (about 160°F) and let them rest off the heat, loosely covered with foil to finish cooking. With the resting period, they will come out perfect every time!
Because duck confit is a traditional dish in France, and to keep to the French theme, I added aioli, a Provençal condiment, which is a homemade mayonnaise with garlic. To make it easier and safer (no raw eggs), I make mine with store-bought mayonnaise and add seasonings to it. And to finish off the burgers, I melted Gruyere over the top.
Every bite of these French Duck Confit Burgers is packed with luscious flavor, great texture, juicy moisture, and when combined with all the condiments makes every single bite pure heaven! Consider putting these beautiful burgers on your menu for your Memorial Day barbecue – everyone will thank you!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for French Duck Confit Burgers:
- Garlic, salt, mayonnaise, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice
- Duck legs confit, thyme, pepper, lettuce leaves, sliced red onions
- Sliced tomatoes, Gruyere cheese, hamburger buns, mustard
Duck confit can be quite salty depending on who made it. Always taste it before seasoning the rest of the meat so you don’t wind up with an inedible salt bomb!
How to make French Duck Confit Burgers:
- Make the Aioli: Mix together the garlic pieces with coarse salt in a mortar and pestle until it is a paste, or use Gourmet Garden’s garlic paste to save that step; add garlic paste to the mayonnaise, slowly whisk in the oil, lemon juice, and add salt to taste
- Make the Burgers: Remove skin from the duck, cut into pieces and cook in a skillet to render the fat, along with as much of the fat as you can scrape from the packaging, then cool slightly and pour into a large mixing bowl; cut up the duck meat finely, taste to see how salty it is so you can adjust your seasoning of the turkey later; place the chopped duck in the same bowl as the rendered fat
- Add the ground turkey and thyme to the bowl and mix everything together, add salt and pepper – take a small piece of the mixed meat and cook it in a skillet, taste and adjust the seasonings of the raw meat as needed; divide equally into 4 pieces and pat into flat round patties, pressing a deep divot in the center of each one with your thumb
- Cook the Burgers: Heat a grill, grill pan, skillet or griddle over medium to medium-high heat and cook the patties until browned and cooked about halfway through, flip and cook second side until an instant read thermometer registers 160°F to 165°F in the center; top with cheese and melt it on the burgers, keep warm
- Assemble the Burgers: Generously spread the aioli on both halves of the buns, put a lettuce leaf on the bottom half, add a burger with the melted cheese and top with tomatoes and onion rings; finish with the tops of the buns and serve immediately, passing additional aioli at the table with some good French mustard if desired
If you want to make the aioli more delicately flavored, roast the garlic in advance. With roasting it becomes soft and supple with a more subtle flavor. Roasted garlic cloves are much easier than raw garlic to mix into mayonnaise and give it a beautiful flavor.
Another tip about the garlic is that Gourmet Garden has garlic paste in tubes that are sold in the produce department of local grocers. It eliminates the need for a mortar and pestle and makes the job so much easier!
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Dry measuring cups and liquid measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Mortar and pestle
- BBQ grill or grill pan
- Instant read thermometer
Always check with the producer of the duck confit to be sure there are no gluten ingredients added during cooking and packaging.
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped or use Gourmet Garden's garlic paste (sold in the produce dept)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 to 2 duck legs confit
- 2 lb (907g) ground dark turkey meat
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Salt, if needed
- 4 lettuce leaves
- Thinly sliced red onions
- Sliced tomatoes
- Sliced Gruyere cheese
- Brioche hamburger buns (or gluten-free buns if needed)
- French-style mustard, optional
- Prepare the Aioli: Using a mortar and pestle, pound together the garlic cloves with the coarse salt until you have a smooth paste. Or you can use Gourmet Garden's garlic paste, sold in tubes in the produce dept.
- Add the garlic paste to the mayonnaise, whisking until evenly distributed. Gradually add the olive oil to the
mayonnaise, whisking constantly. Stir in the lemon juice and add sea salt to taste. Aioli can be placed in a tightly covered container and stored in the refrigerator up to several days. Keep refrigerated and use cool.
- Make the Burgers: Remove the skin from the duck and cut it into chunks. Place in a skillet and cook over medium heat to render the fat. Set aside to cool slightly. Pour the rendered fat into a large mixing bowl and discard the skin.
- Cut the duck confit away from the leg bones (leaving as much fat on it as possible) and then very finely chop. Taste the meat to see how salty it is and adjust your seasoning of the turkey accordingly.
- Place the duck pieces in the bowl with the rendered fat. Add the ground turkey and thyme, and season with the salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hands. (To test seasonings, once blended, pinch off a little of the meat and cook it in a skillet. Taste the cooked meat and adjust seasonings of the raw meat if needed.) Divide into 4 equal pieces and pat into flat rounds. Press a deep indentation in the center of each patty with your thumb.
- Cook the Burgers: Heat a grill, grill pan, skillet, or griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the patties until browned about halfway up the sides before flipping and finishing on the second side. Reduce the heat to medium to medium-low to help extra thick burgers cook all the way through. An instant read thermometer will register 160°F to 165°F when they are at the perfect temperature; remove from the heat. Just before they are done, add a slice of cheese to melt slightly. Move burgers to a plate and keep warm. Toast the buns, brushed first butter if you like.
- Assemble the Burgers: Spread a generous amount of the aioli on both halves of the hamburger buns. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half and top with the hot burgers covered with the melted cheese. Top with tomatoes and some of the red onion rings and place the top halves of the buns on the burgers and serve immediately. Pass additional aioli at the table with some good French mustard if you like.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2079Total Fat: 207gSaturated Fat: 41gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 160gCholesterol: 261mgSodium: 4951mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 37g
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