Duck. In my mind it’s so French. You’ll see it on menus all over France. And it’s the ideal ingredient to cook with when you want to Frenchify your day.
But, here’s the thing about duck. It’s not the easiest poultry to work with. It has a reputation for being both a touch fancy and a bit challenging all at once.
And that makes sense when I think about it. Fresh duck breasts are relatively expensive (at least here in Oz). And while duck legs are not nearly as pricey, cook them in the same way as duck breasts and they’ll end up tough. There’s a reason that you see so many confit duck legs in French restaurants.
However, there’s only so much confit duck you can eat. Luckily though, there is an alternative cooking method that’s not only easy but delivers tasty and tender results every single time. I’ve been playing with this recipe for a while now, and it’s perfect for days when you want a no fuss, economical, French inspired duck dinner at home.
Before I get into the recipe, just a note on the allspice. It really is worth tracking down whole berries or ground allspice for this recipe. The flavour really makes this dish pop. If you can’t find Allspice though, you can substitute with a mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
Master A French Classic – Slow Roasted Duck Legs
- Duck legs with thigh attached (sometimes sold as duck marylands). I allow one leg per human eating.
- 1 large tablespoon of redcurrant jelly.
- Half a cup of port.
- Half a cup of chicken stock.
- 4 allspice berries ground in a mortar and pestle, or a pinch of ground allspice.
- Salt & pepper.
- Duck friendly herbs. I like to use a mix of bay leaves and fresh thyme sprigs.
- Chopped parsley, for sprinkling.
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius or 140 degrees celsius if your oven is fan forced.
- Place duck legs in a cast iron casserole dish that has a tight fitting lid.
- Sprinkle duck with allspice, and season with salt and pepper. Tuck herbs in and around the duck.
- In a jug, mix together redcurrant jelly, port and stock. Pour gently around the duck.
- Cover casserole and roast for 2 hours until the duck is cooked through and tender.
- Remove duck from casserole, and skim fat from sauce. If the sauce is a a bit too liquid, reduce it slightly by boiling on stove top.
- Return duck to casserole, sprinkle over parsley and serve with your favourite potatoes and greens. Fresh asparagus works really well, but I also like these duck legs served with salad.
Do you have a favourite recipe for slow roasted duck legs? As always, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.