Dinner is served

Duck confit is one of my can’t-live-without dishes

"If I am in a bistro, I will almost certainly order it," says Mimi Thorisson, "and it’s the first dish I prepare for my friends when they come to stay. It’s so French, so tasty, crispy, served with roast potatoes, salad and a good bottle of Médoc wine. I can’t think of a better way to say welcome." Read on for more on Thorisson's favourite dinner party menu, grown-up enough to impress any gourmand (even the children).


  1. Confit de canard

  2. Recipes by Mimi Thorisson | Photographs by Oddur Thorisson
  4. Ingredients (serves 4):

  5. 4 duck legs
1 large jar of duck fat
  7. Lots of coarse sea salt (fleur de sel)
Potatoes, sliced (count 3 medium-sized ones per person)

  9. 3 garlic cloves, sliced in half

  10. A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf

  12. Black pepper

Cover the duck legs with a generous amount of ‘fleur de sel’ and make sure to rub it in. Cover with cling film and leave in your fridge overnight.
 When ready, take out the duck legs and rinse them in cold water. Pat dry with kitchen towel. In a large pot, melt the jar of duck fat and cook the duck legs at a steady temperature for 2 hours (approx. 70-80 degrees Celsius). Take the duck legs aside and drain the duck fat through a sieve. Return duck legs to the drained fat and leave to cool. When cooled, keep a layer of fat on the legs (approx 1.5 cm/ 1/2 inch). Next, roast them. They have to be slightly crispy and golden. I always add a bay leaf, fresh thyme, 3 garlic cloves (sliced in half) and sliced potatoes. Cook in a preheated oven 200°C for 25-30 minutes.

“Meringues are the most pleasurable desserts to make. Whisking up a sky of fluffy clouds, shaping them into pretty petticoats, these sweet confections are simply magical.”

– Mimi thorisson

  1. Chocolate Swirl Meringues
  3. Ingredients:
  4. 6 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

  5. 1 + 1/2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp good-quality cocoa powder

  7. A pinch of fine salt

  8. 320 g caster sugar
  9. Preheat the oven to 140° C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Meringues: (makes 5-6 meringues)

  1. In a large glass bowl, whisk the egg whites (I use a pair of electric whisks) and salt on a high-speed until frothy – try to keep the whisk position as horizontal as possible. Add the cornflour and sugar (1-2 tbsp at a time) gradually and continue whisking. You should add the sugar in small quantities until the end of the process. When the egg whites form stiff peaks (this usually takes about 10-15 minutes), gently fold in the cocoa powder. You should create nice swirls in the egg whites. With the help of two large slotted spoons, spoon the egg whites onto the parchment-lined baking tray. The meringues should be about 10-12 cm large and 6 cm high. ‘Twirl’ your spoon around and finish off with a spiky peak. Finally ‘dust’ some cocoa powder on top of each meringue and use a small fork to gently draw a few more swirls.
Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, switch off the oven, leave them to cool inside the oven with the door slightly open for 15 minutes.

Chocolate sauce:

  1. 40g good-quality cocoa powder

  2. 100ml water
50g sugar

  4. 40g golden syrup
  5. 20g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces

Mix the cocoa powder, water, sugar, golden syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a soft boil. Remove from heat and add dark chocolate pieces. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Set aside at room temperature for an hour before serving.