Sunday, 19 September 2010

Braised Duck Legs with Onion and Sage

Duck legs are by far the most delicious part of the bird, and this recipe, inspired by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse-fame, managed the difficult task of producing tender, melting meat, a delicious gravy and crisp skin. Simply brown quite a lot of onions in a tablespoon of oil and transfer to a casserole with some chopped garlic and a few sage leaves - go easy as they are a very dominant flavour - and a bay leaf. Now, brown duck legs, skin-side down, in the same pan as the onions. Let the skin take on a good, deep-golden colour. Season the meaty uppers of the leg with salt and pepper, then turn and brown the meat side. Remove to the casserole, pour off the rendered fat (keep it in a pot for roast spuds) and deglaze the pan with a wine-glass of white wine. Pour this over the duck, cover, and braise for an hour. Uncover, pour off the sauce (keeping it, of course) and return the duck to the oven for a further 30 minutes - turn it up high to crisp the skin. Before serving, skim the duck fat off the sauce and add the onions from the casserole. Bring to the boil and allow to reduce a little before pouring over the crisp duck and serving with dark greens and potatoes - mash is good! I will use the remaining two duck legs for a soup tomorrow. Gorgeous with a nice bottle of Pinot Noir.

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