Although rillettes are not especially complicated to make, the process does take quite a while, so it?s best to attempt it when you have a whole afternoon or morning free. Most of that time is cooking time, though, so you can get other things done while the meat is roasting very slowly in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 150?C (130?C fan), then start by preparing your duck for confit ? choose a small ovenproof dish which is just big enough to fit both the legs, and then once they?re in there, drizzle generously with olive oil, so that the duck ends up sitting in about 5mm of it. Sprinkle generously with salt, black pepper and thyme, and then crush the garlic cloves and spread the pieces over the top of the meat. Place in the oven and leave for three and a half hours.
When the time?s up, the duck should be brown and crispy on the top, and extremely tender when tested with a skewer. It should also have released plenty more fat. Use tongs to move the duck legs to a plate, cover, and set aside to cool for half an hour or so. Keep the fat in the earthenware dish ? you?ll need it later.
Once the duck has cooled to room temperature, give your hands a good scrub and then use your fingers to peel off the skin and remove the meat from the bones. Put the meat in a bowl, then shred and mash with two forks until it?s all broken up. Gradually add the reserved fat from cooking, mashing all the time, until the meat comes together in a solid mass ? you might not need all of the fat. Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the bowl, then season and mix well. Finally, transfer to a ramekin or a jar, depending on how long you want to keep it for, and press down well with the back of a fork. Place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or until you?re ready to serve.