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Crisp Roasted Duck Legs, Slow Braised in Red Wine Sauce

Crisp Roasted Duck Legs, Slow Braised in Red Wine Sauce

I love duck. Duck legs are very reasonably priced. Ducks use their legs for swimming and those muscles get tough. So when cooking duck legs, they require some tender loving care with braising, stewing, confit, or slow cooking. In this recipe we take those legs and slow cooking them with some red wine for braising and with the lid off for roasting. The best thing about duck is a crispy skin. We need dry heat to accomplish this effect. Because duck is very fatty, it doesn't dry out like most poultry. So slow cooking and low heat is the way to go to accomplish a crispy skin and tender product.

The fat is poured off once rendered in the cooking. We then add red wine and a sweet and sour jam to create the sumptuous sauce for dipping. Total YUM!

Duck fat is a fave for the copious amount of fat released in the cooking. The fat can be save for later use, to create a rich taste for potatoes, confit, frying and anything you want a boost of flavour. Problem is it's a saturated fat. So for your better health, this is a once in a while treat.

As far as food safety training goes, duck is considered poultry and can be at risk for salmonella and campylobacter bacteria. Chefs may want to put up an argument for serving this dark meat medium rare, but not according to the CFIA. According to our Canadian standards the internal cooking temperature of duck, no ifs ands or buts, is 74 degrees C | 165 degrees C. Here is a list of CFIA approved cooking temperatures.

Crisp Roasted Duck Legs, Slow Braised in Red Wine Sauce


4 duck legs

½ medium red onion or other kind of onion, sliced into rings

4 large garlic cloves

1 or 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

small bunch of rosemary springs

small bunch of thyme sprigs

half a bottle of red wine

2 tbsp sour cherry jam or other tangy jam you like

Add later:

4 large smashed garlic

two carrots, sliced about 1 inch thick

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

  1. Cover a roasting pan with tinfoil and parchment paper

  2. Make a bed of the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme sprigs

  3. Smash the garlic and place over the sprigs

  4. Place the duck legs over the bed of flavours

  5. Grind salt and freshly ground pepper over the duck

  6. Sprinkle the duck with the cinnamon

  7. Roast for 1 hour

  8. When you see a good amount of fat come from the legs. Remove the legs; along with the onions, herb sprigs, and garlic and place into an ovenproof skillet, cast iron is best.

  9. Place the duck legs on top of the onions, garlic and herbs.

  10. Pour the wine until about half up the legs. Tops exposed.

  11. Mix the jam into the wine.

  12. Add the garlic and carrots.

  13. Roast for a half hour or more until the duck legs are tender and crisp and the wine has reduced.

  14. If the sauce has not thickened, remove the duck and boil sauce until reduced.

  15. Serve with roasted potatoes in the duck fat and roasted vegetables. These can be roasted in another skillet or pan alongside during the roasting process of the duck.

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