I have made duck confit a few times, mainly following Judy Rogers Zuni Cafe cookbook recipe as well as Buchon's cookbook and Michael Ruhlman's online post as guides (http://ruhlman.com/2010/09/how-to-mak...). What I have found confusing is that these sources are very diverse on the time---Judy says 1 1/2 - 2 hours (at 200 degrees) and Ruhlman, Emeril, Thomas Keller all fall on the side of 12 hours (same temp)
Using Judy Rogers shorter time, and using a tip from somewhere online about checking with a bamboo skewer (when it can be inserted without resistance, the duck is finished), I have made a very satisfactory product On the other hand, if cooking for a much longer time results in even more wonderful results (and doesn't result in a product that falls apart when trying to crisp it after a few months in the fridge), I would be delighted to do that. I just don't want to re-invent the wheel if there is no reason... So if anyone has already done the comparison, I would be grateful to hear the verdict... I find it very curious that there is such a disparity in the cooking times by such talented chefs...