I love to cook and I love to eat good food.  Alas, the fact that I work 9-5 means that I can't do either as much as I would like, and like many I am often stuck at my desk during my lunch "hour".  My solution is to try to bring my lunch to work as much as I can.  This is my collection of recipes, all made quickly the night before (either as lunch or as dinner with leftovers that can be taken in).  Happy eating.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Roast duck legs with red wine and dried plums, roast potatoes and cabbage



I had a pair of duck legs in the freezer, a souvenir of a trip to the Blackheath farmer's market where I slightly over-shopped and came back with more food than possible to consume before it all went bad. Luckily, the cooler nights and longer evenings call for something rich and comforting, something a little bit special. A Saturday night in was the perfect opportunity to cook up a duck feast.

I can't give an exact recipe because I improvised as I went along and forgot to write down my exact measurements. However, nothing was so complicated that it can't be figured out or approximated.



I wanted to cook the duck slowly in the oven, making a sauce in the roasting pan as everything cooked together. Though I would be roasting the bird, I wanted to make sure the skin got crisp and some of the fat drained out (I had other uses for it). I cooked the legs, skin side down, in a medium hot non-stick pan for about 5-10 minutes, until the skin was cooked and I had several tablespoons of fat in the pan.

I then transferred the duck to my baking dish and thought about what I would cook with it. I had some red wine from Friday night, some red onions, and decided I would add in some dried plums (yep, prunes), as they do in France. I poured in about a cup of wine and a cup of water, thinly sliced the red onions, and chopped the handful of prunes in half. I popped the dish into a 350 oven and forgot about it for half an hour.


What to make to go with the duck? With the extra duck fat, roast potatoes would clearly be on the menu. I poured off most of the duck fat in the saute pan and mixed it with some cut up potatoes, and in they went to the oven with the duck. All they needed was to be stirred around once or twice during roasting.



And, of course, we needed some greens. I had a head of savoy/Napa cabbage. This I cooked in the same saute pan as the duck, with the last remaining drops of the duck fat, and 1/4 cup of vegetable stock. I put the lid on the pan and steamed the cabbage for 5 minutes until it turned bright green, then took off the lid and let the little bit of liquid in the bottom evaporate.

Finally, when the duck and potatoes were ready, I took out the duck from the oven, removed it to a covered plate to rest for a few minutes. I poured the liquid from the pan into a fat separator, straining out the onions and prunes, then poured the pure liquid back into the pan with the vegetables and fruit.

A little plating up and we were ready to feast.

17 comments:

Sachi's Kitchen said...

Wow -- this looks incredible. I'm so tempted to run out and buy a duck leg right now. Especially so I can use all it's "juices" (nothing better than duck fat!) for side dishes. YUMMMM :)

doggybloggy said...

I love duck! You have tempted me to run to chinatown and buy some roast duck to chow on instantly!

girlichef said...

Wow, what a feast you enjoyed! Duck fat is so perfect for coooking other things in, I bet this was divine :D

Leela said...

Hey, I made slow-roasted duck today! Twelve *beautiful* duck leg quarters slow-roasted till they were fall-off-the-bone tender. I can't have enough duck and am always on a lookout for more ways to cook it. Thanks for the recipe.

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

What a delicious dinner! Duck fat is so good for cooking potatoes in. I bet this was crazy good!

teresa said...

i've never cooked with duck, but i do love it! this looks awesome!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks amazing! I adore the flavor of duck fat, and especially like cooking potatoes in the fat. Great job!

Barbara said...

Aren't you lucky to have had duck legs in your freezer? I love duck! And it seems natural to pair it with plums- the sweetness with the fat of the duck. And your potatoes? Yumm.

Art and Appetite said...

Incredible! It looks sooo good. I'm starving now.

Anncoo said...

WOW! This looks so succulent and delightful.

Stephanie Miskew said...

Mmmmmm, duck legs! Sounds delicious:)

the ungourmet said...

What a nice looking feast you have there! I've only had duck once, ages ago. I don't really remember what it tastes like but your dinner makes me want to try it again.

Grace said...

i've never eaten duck, can you believe it? your preparation sounds delightful though--the use of plums is really interesting and appealing!

pinkstripes said...

What an impressive dinner!

Velva said...

That was quite the duck feast! Impressive! Now, are you taking any leftovers for your working lunch ? :-)

lisaiscooking said...

That's a lovely meal! The potatoes cooked in duck fat sound fantastic.

Cucinista said...

Thanks all for commenting! Yes, it was delicious.

Sachi, Girlichef, Reeni, Fresh & Local, Lisa: duck fat is fantastic, especially with potatoes.

Teresa, you've got to try it. You'll never go back to another bird.

Velva: I did have some leftover potatoes and cabbage but the duck was gobbled up on the night.

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