Get your skates on for warming duck legs

Braised duck leg
Braised duck leg
Peter Beech, Jennifer Beech, Philip Talbot and Ian Withall 
enjoy a drop of ale          Picture by Malcolm Wells (171013-5428)

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On my last run around the Mill Pond it was so cold I’d have been better off with ice skates.

On my last run around the Mill Pond it was so cold I’d have been better off with ice skates.

I was happy to get back to the warmth of my kitchen and it’s at times like this all I want is something comforting to eat, to warm me from the inside.

When I worked in France we would eat a dish of duck legs, slowly cooked in fat to make them tender, which would have a great warming and comforting effect.

I love the texture and flavour of duck and it is fairly easy to find in the shops.

The price of legs is considerably cheaper than the breast and makes a great alternative to chicken.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377914.

INGREDIENTS

4 duck legs

600ml chicken stock

1 onion roughly copped

1 carrot roughly chopped

1 leek cut into 2cm pieces

3 cloves garlic

5 star anise

5 cloves

Half small red cabbage finely sliced

400ml white wine vinegar

100 ml water

Teaspoon sea salt

150g sugar

10 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

2 cloves

Method

Pickle

1. Heat all ingredients except the cabbage in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.

2. Simmer for five minutes. Taste and check the balance. It should not be too sweet or acidic.

3. Put the cabbage into the pickle mixture and heat for two minutes.

4. Place into sterile jars.

Duck

1.Cook the vegetables in a casserole pan with a little oil until light golden brown.

2. Add the aromatics, duck legs and chicken stock.

3. Bring to a simmer and place in pre-heated oven 150c/gas 3 for 2.5 hours. The legs should be tender. Check by twisting the lower leg bone which will come away from the meat.

4. Allow to cool and remove the legs.

5. Strain the cooking liquid and skim off the fat.

6. Place the liquid in a saucepan and bring back to the boil. Season and taste.

7. Put the legs back in an oven 180c/gas 5 for 15 minutes.

8. Warm the pickle and place in the centre of four bowls.

9. Top with the legs and pour the broth over.