Last night Fig was over for dinner and Doctor Who (The Stones of Blood this week!) and so I decided to make this lovely dish. Partly, I must admit, because Sainsbury’s has duck legs on special offer at the moment! This is tasty, easy to do and full of lovely flavours. The recipe says to leave the duck legs, covered in salt, overnight, which I didn’t have the time to do, so I simply covered them in salt for about 20 minutes – that seeemed to work quite nicely.
The recipe as listed serves 6, but I scaled it down for just the two of us.
6 duck legs
2 tablespoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
500g button onions (Sainsbury’s didn’t have button onions so I used small shallots instead and cut them in half)
500g of small waxy potatoes
175g of smoked bacon lardons (I had some smoked pancetta slices in the fridge so I used that instead, cut into postage stamp sized pieces)
A handful of fresh sage leaves
200g of baby leaf spinach
2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
The day before cooking place the duck legs in a dish and sprinkle over the salt, rubbing it into the skin. Cover with cling film and chill. (As I say, I only did this for 20 minutes, not overnight and it seeemed fine to me.)
On the day, rinse the duck legs under cold water to remove the salt and pat dry with a clean towel.
Heat oven to 160.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Place the duck, skin-side down, in the pan and cook gently for 15 minutes until crisp and golden.
Turn the duck and pour off the excess fat into a small bowl. Retain the duck fat for later.
Cook the duck for a further 15 minutes and then transfer to a roasting dish.
Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or so.
Whilst the duck is cooking, put the onions in a pan with 1 tablespoon of the reserved duck fat and gently cook for 15 minutes until golden.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 minutes in a pan of salted water, then drain, peel (or not – I was using new potatoes so I didn’t bother peeling them.) and leave to cool.
Tip the remaining duck fat into the frying pan and add the potatoes, bacon, and sage to the onions.
Fry for 10 minutes until golden, then add the spinach and cook for 4 minutes to wilt the spinach.
Then add the sherry vinegar and turn up the heat to bubble off any excess liquid.
Serve with the cooked duck legs