Roast Duck Legs with Prunes

Mmmm!

Mmmm!

Who can say ‘no’ to a lovely pair of duck legs?  Well, unfortunately I had to in making this recipe today.  My local butcher only had fresh duck breast in stock, so although I have completed the recipe, I had to make a few adaptations along the way.  I am going to write it up as I cooked it with duck breast, so if you have the requisite duck legs, please check here for Gabriel’s original recipe.

I need to be honest here.  I love duck.  Duck in any way, shape or form is delicious, so I am just the littlest bit biased when it comes to this particular recipe.  The duck here is moist, rich and flavourful with sticky sweetness provided by the yielding flesh of the prunes.  It is not difficult to make but there is a tiny bit of technique involved to make sure the duck breast remains tender and juicy.  Overall a great combination and another duck dish I am pleased to add to the repertoire!

Ingredients

2 duck breasts
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed in several pieces
½ tsp cracked pepper
sea salt
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine
80 ml (⅓ cup) strong chicken stock
10 prunes

How to do it…

Heat up an oven proof skillet over medium – high heat and preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Scored and seasoned

Scored and seasoned

Give your fennel seeds a bit of a pounding with a mortar and pestle and then score the skin of the duck breast with horizontal slashes using a sharp knife.  Into the skin rub a bit of olive oil and the crushed fennel seeds.

Peel and slice your carrot and steam it in a little water until cooked.

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Crispy skin...

Crispy skin…

While the carrots are steaming, place the breasts, skin side down in the hot pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until the skin is golden.  Turn the duck breasts over and continue cooking for another minute or two before placing the whole skillet into the oven for another 8 minutes to finish cooking.

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Smooth or chunky?

Smooth or chunky?

While your duck breasts are finishing off in the oven,  puree your carrots with a little of the butter and season to taste, then set these aside, and slice the shallot ready to make the sauce.

…………………..

…………………..

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Bubble, bubble...

Bubble, bubble…

When the duck breasts are finished in the oven, transfer them to a plate and cover with foil to rest.  Tip the duck fat out of the skillet and add in the shallots.  Fry these off for a minute or two and then add the red wine. Let this bubble up and evaporate most of it off before adding the chicken stock and bringing the sauce to a simmer.  Now you can throw in the prunes and let the whole thing come back to the simmer for a few minutes.

………………….

Mmmm!

Mmmm!

Now stir the remaining butter into the sauce, add the duck breasts back to the skillet and baste them in the sauce.  Share the carrot puree between two plates and place a duck breast on top of each.  Spoon over some prunes and sauce and serve.

Yum!

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