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Duck legs


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Duck legs I normally roast until the skin is crispy and the meat dark - though I prefer confit for this. Roast on a rack and collect the fat. Otherwise I use breasts, score the skin in a diamond pattern, fry dry in a heavy pan, skin side down, until the skin is golden and the fat has rendered, then flip over and cook for just a few minutes on the other side, then into the oven to finish. I make a sauce by removing (and keeping) the fat, deglazing the pan with some red wine, reduce that almost to nothing, and then add some creme de cassis and some blackcurrants if I can find them.

To casserole, I quote Waitrose:

To casserole, brown the duck portions in a frying pan until golden

brown (there is no need to add extra fat). Transfer the portions to a

casserole, using a slotted spoon, add vegetables and liquid (stock,

wine or cider) and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C, gas mark 4 for

11/2 hours until thoroughly cooked. Before serving remove any excess

fat and adjust the seasoning.


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Good recipe for confit - 4 duck/goose legs

Make a mixture of approx 100gm sea salt crystals, the herbs & 4 cloves of garlic - crushed.  Rub this mix into the duck legs & place in a large bowl overnight with all the remaining salt mix - Hugh F-W says leave for 48 hrs, Rick Stein says 6 hrs - I find that between 12 & 18 is best for flavour, otherwise they are too salty.

Next day, in a large pan melt approx 1kg of duck fat & when it starts to bubble place the duck legs in the fat - check that the legs are completely covered.  Cover & place in oven Gas Mk 1/140'C & cook slowly for at least an hour an half but no more than 3hrs. Turn off oven & leave legs in the fat for 24hrs.

To serve:  Heat oven to Mk7/220'C.  Remove the legs from the fat, wiping off any surplus fat.  Place skin side down on a roasting tray & cook in the hot oven for 5mins, then drain off any surplus fat, turn legs over & cook a further 10mins skin side up until the skin is crisp & golden brown.  Some people prefer to cook them on a rack, but I find that makes them too dry - a question of personal taste........

I serve mine with a combination of any of the following: Roast spuds cooked in the fat, celeriac puree, jerusalem artichokes, braised red cabbage &/ watercress & orange salad.

I buy lots when they are going cheap & place them in sterilised Kilner jars completely covered in more rendered duck fat - they will keep for a good 6months in the bottom of the fridge - ideally prepare them Jan/Feb to eat in Oct/Nov - good cheap & quick option for all of you doing table d'hote in SW France.   NO NOT THROW AWAY THE FAT - it makes the best roast potatoes, parsnips, jerusalem artichokes.............



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I simmer them in a good stock, made with carrots, leeks/onions, mushrooms, ginger, garlic & sometimes herbs. Do this until tender & then put them the oven on a very high heat or under the grill to brown the skin. Skim the fat off the stock & you have the base for a nice soup. In fact it is a soup really!
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[quote user="margie"]

Can anybody recommend a recipe for the packs of duck legs you can buy (usually with a sachet of herbes de Provence supplied). I would like a recipe that guarantees very tender meat in or with a tasty sauce.


Can't beat a slow coooker for tenderness, falling off the bone etc.  Long and slow is my motto - just cook in their own fat (or add a little extra if desired), skins falls off, as do the bones, and nice and moist.  Best is if they can all touch the base, so a low, wide pan is better than the current narrow, high ones, but with trial and error it works.  Its my stock easy dinner party recipe also, not time critical!

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