- Serves: 8
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 24hrs salting (optional)
- Effort: medium
- 8 legs and 8 breast joints cut from 4 mallard duck
- coarse sea salt, (optional)
- 1 kg duck fat
- 32 shallots, peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- black pepper
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 3 tbsp port
- 125 ml red wine
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 12 juniper berries
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 8 small bunches watercress, to garnish
1. If you have the time, rub the duck legs with coarse salt and pepper and leave in a cool place for 24 hours. This seasons, strengthens and dehydrates the flesh but is not essential.
2. Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2
3. If you have salted the duck legs, rinse and dry them. Place the legs in a roasting tray with the duck fat and bake for 1 hour or until very tender; a small knife should go through without any resistance. Drain the duck leg confits and set aside.
4. Increase the oven temperature to 200ºC/Gas 7
5. Toss the shallots in 1 tablespoon olive oil in a roasting tray and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, shaking the tin twice so they colour evenly. Remove and keep warm.
6. Turn the oven up to 225ºC/Gas 7.
7. Score the skin of the duck breast joints slightly. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the breasts all over.
8. Transfer the browned duck breasts to a roasting tin and roast for 12 minutes for rare.
9. When the breast joints are cooked, remove from the oven to rest for 5 minutes. Keep warm.
10. While the breasts are roasting, add the onion to the frying pan in which the breasts were browned. Fry the onions until browned.
11. Add the brandy and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan. Add the port and reduce by half. Add the wine, tomato puree, juniper berries and stock and cook briskly until reduced by a third. Strain into a saucepan and keep warm.
12. Meanwhile, preheat the grill. Crisp the duck leg confits under the grill for 5 minutes
13. Slice the breasts from the bone. Pour all the released juices into the gravy.
14. Serve each person a breast sliced into three and a leg. Garnish with the roasted shallots and watercress. Either flood the plate with the gravy or serve it separately.
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