Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 Tbsp. white peppercorns
2 tsp. juniper berries
½ cup kosher salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
4-5 sprigs thyme
4 chicken leg quarters, skin-on (duck leg quarters can also be used) 4-5 cups bacon fat or other rendered animal fat
● Place the black and white peppercorns and juniper berries in a coffee or spice grinder and pulse until finely ground.
● Strip the thyme leaves from the stems and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the ground spice mixture, salt and sugar and pulse until well blended.
● Rub the leg quarters liberally with the spice cure on both sides. Place the seasoned leg quarters in a covered container or a zip-top bag and refrigerate. Let cure 18 to 24 hours.
● Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
● Rinse the excess spice mixture from the legs, pat dry with paper towels and place on a rack. Set aside.
● In a 12-inch nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 4 cups fat. Place a thermometer in the fat and add the dry leg quarters, completely submerging them in the fat. Add the remaining 1 cup fat if necessary.
● When the fat reaches 225 degrees, place the pan in the oven and bake 1 hour 15 minutes. The meat is done when the skin starts to pull away from the leg.
● Remove the legs from the pan and place them in a large container with a lid. Pour the fat over the top of the legs, then cover and refrigerate. Confit legs will keep up to 3 months.