Duck Legs with Olives and Tomatoes served on Polenta Wedges

Duck legs have the most amazing flavour and when cooked slowly in stock the meat is tender and simply shreds from the bone.

Wine Recommendation: A Pic St Loup and all Syrah wine displaying savoury notes with enough robustness to match well with Duck. See The Mixed Case for details

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

Duck Legs

  • 6 duck legs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary stem
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 250ml dry white wine
  • 500ml duck or chicken stock
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 18 green olives
  • maldon salt or a similar flaked salt and freshly ground

To Serve

  • 100g wild rocket leaves
  • Polenta Wedges (see recipe)
  • or serve simply with plenty of warm bread

Method

  1. Duck Legs: Place an oven proof casserole pan over a moderate high heat. Brown the duck legs, skin side first, so that the skin is slightly crispy and golden brown (this will take 5-8 minutes. Remove the legs from the pan and set aside.
  2. Preheat an oven to 150C. Remove some of the fat from the pan so that you have just enough to cook the onion. Add the onion to the pan and saute for 2 minutes until soft and transparent. Mix in the garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, juniper berries and smoked paprika. Cook for a further 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine, stock and tomatoes bring to the boil then add the legs.
  3. Cover the casserole with a lid and place on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and cook for 1 1/4 hours (turn the legs over halfway through the cooking time)..
  4. Remove the casserole pan from the oven if the sauce is too watery take out the duck legs (keep warm while you finish the sauce). Place the pan over a high heat and bring to a strong simmer, leave the sauce to cook (stirring regularly) until reduced to a good sauce consistency. To finish the sauce stir in the lemon zest and olives. Season to taste. Serve.
  5. To Serve:Place 2-3 polenta wedges and a generous handful of rocket on each plate. Distribute the duck legs and pour over the sauce. Serve at once.