Saturday, 3 April 2010

Stewed Duck Legs

I've been a bit obsessed with braising things (and duck) this winter and it doesn't seem to be over yet. For a change I did this on top of the stove instead of in the oven. I recommend doing it a day ahead; that way you can skim off some fat before you reheat it. Leave the legs whole and serve over mashed potatoes or polenta, or shred the meat and discard the bones and serve it as a sauce over pasta.

2 servings
2 hours 15 minutes - 45 minutes prep time

Stewed Duck Legs
1 large onion
1 or 2 stalks of celery
OR 1 cup peeled, finely diced celeriac
1 medium carrot
1 medium parsnip
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon mild duck fat, or vegetable oil
2 duck legs (about 500 grams, 1 pound)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 1/2 cups duck or chicken stock
the finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
the juice of 1/2 small lemon

Peel and chop the onion. Clean, trim and chop the celery. Peel and dice the carrot and the parsnip. Peel and mince the garlic, and set it aside separately.

Heat the fat or oil in a medium sized skillet, and sauté the duck legs on as many sides as possible until the skin is browned and crisp. Set them aside in a snug stewing pot, with the bay leaves, salt, pepper and rosemary.

Sauté the onion, celery, carrot and parsnip in the same skillet until softened and slightly browned. Add the garlic and lemon zest, and sauté for a minute or two more. Add them to the duck legs, and add the duck or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat quite low, and simmer, covered, for about an hour and a half.

Ideally, cool the dish and refrigerate until the next day. Remove as much fat from the surface as seems good, then remove the duck legs from the vegetables and broth. Purée about half of the vegetables and broth to make a very smooth sauce with the lemon juice and the arrowroot, and blend it back into the remaining sauce and vegetables. Return the sauce to the pot with the duck legs, and reheat, stirring frequently. Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.

If you wish, you can pull the meat from the bones and chop it before returning it to the sauce to be reheated. Serve over pasta in this case.

Last year at this time I made Rainbow Trout with Leek & Mushroom Sauce and German Celeriac Salad.


Joanne said...

I really like stewing meat. It always ends up so tender and delicious.

I also really like your instructions to serve over polenta. I'll take any excuse to do that!

Elizabeth and Jared said...

Stewed Duck! that sounds divine.