Want to cook a special meal for two? This gorgeous duck recipe can be made in advance – and prepared in just a few minutes!
- 2 duck legs
- 8 sage leaves
- 2 tsp rock salt
- Jar of goose fat (jars can range from 180g-350g)
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 100g (3½oz) green lentils
- Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
- 300ml (½ pint) stock
- 280g pack stir-fry vegetables
- A few sage leaves, to garnish
Scrape the flesh down the thigh bone of the duck and remove it, leaving the drumstick. Score the skin around the knuckle. Finely chop the sage leaves, then pound them with the salt, using a pestle and mortar. Rub the mixture into the skin and put the duck legs, skin-side up, on a plate and leave, uncovered, in the fridge for 24-48 hours (this draws the moisture to ensure a crispy skin when cooked).
Set the oven to Gas Mark 3/160°C. Put all the goose fat into a small roasting tin in the oven to melt and get hot.
Wipe the salt mixture off the duck skin with kitchen paper. Carefully put the duck legs into the hot fat, skin-side down, so the fat just covers the meat and the legs are tightly packed in. Cover with foil and cook for 1½ hours; turn them over and cook for another half an hour. They could be eaten at this stage or cooled in the fat for serving later.
Pack the duck legs tightly into a clean dish or tub. Pour the fat over them to completely cover if possible, then chill. They will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
When you want to serve the duck, bring to room temperature while the oven heats up to Gas Mark 6 or 200°C.
Scrape the fat off the duck legs and put them in a small roasting tin. Cook for 15-20 minutes, then leave them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, cook the onion in a tablespoon of goose fat in a frying pan for 5 minutes. Add the lentils, orange rind and juice and stock, half cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender. Stir in the pack of stir-fry vegetables and cook until heated through but still crunchy and colourful – about 3-4 minutes.
Serve the duck legs on top of the vegetables, garnished with sage leaves crisped in a little hot goose fat, if you like.
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Keep the goose fat and reuse it for more confit, or cooking scrummy roast potatoes, or for frying.