Thursday, 18 April 2013

Braise-Roasted Duck Leg with Marmalade Sponge Puddings for afters.. Weds April 17th 2013

My fabulous Spanish literary agent friend Angela came over last night, whilst she was here in the UK for London Book Fair, and I cooked us dinner so we could natter and catch up on the business gossip.

Duck cooked this way is a favourite, and it really is delicious, and so tender it falls off the bone.  If you are good I'll even let you know how I made it...

So here you go...

  • 4 duck legs
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • handful of fresh thyme stems
  • 1tsp each of Essential Chicken and Veal Stock powders , (or any stock granules, Marigold are good)
  • 500ml warm water
  • salt & pepper

For thickening the gravy:
  • 1 tbs plain flour slaked in a little water
  • couple of drops of gravy browning or home made caramel (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of shredded orange zest (optional)

In a sturdy roasting pan just big enough to take the legs, put a bed of onions and thyme

Put the duck legs on top, mix the stock powders into the water and pour over the duck to come about half way up the legs.

Salt and pepper the tops (I was daft and put the salt and pepper on first, then put the stock in, as you can see I washed the salt and pepper off some of the legs.. be sensible, put stock in first, then salt and pepper! ) and place in a moderate oven, Gas mk 4 , 350/175 degrees. Cook for an hour and a half, basting the top occasionally.

After the hour and a half, drain off the stock into a small pan, put the duck back for another half hour at Gas mk 2 300/150. Add the slaked flour to the stock and whisk until smooth, the flour will combine with the duck fat to thicken the gravy. Bring to the boil, whisking and then turn right down to a murmur and cook for 20 mins to make certain the flour is cooked through. Deepen the colour with a little gravy browning if you wish. (You can add the orange zest now if you wish to use it, it adds a lovely flavour to the gravy without turning it into duck a l'orange. )

Remove the legs from the onion/herbs, you will probably need to remove some herbs from the underside, and serve with mashed potatoes, a green veg and the delicious gravy.

To carry on the orange flavour, I decided to make little steamed marmalade puddings for afters...

Made in individual steamed pudding moulds, just a simple Victoria Sandwich mixture (like this one for the cakes I made for Mother's Day) with a little more milk than you would use for the cakes, some zest and orange essence in the mix, and a good dollop of marmalade and one of golden syrup in the bottom of the mould. Cover and steam for 40 minutes. The mixture filled 5 little moulds.

That's it!  Now that was all easy wasn't it!


  1. you make it look sooo easy and delicious and I wish you lived nearer so I could come and share xx

    1. well it IS easy and delicious!! I don't really like difficult. Even if it is complicated, I expect it to be easy, which is why I haven't embraced sous vide or very cheffy stuff like that.

      And wouldn't it be lovely to be round the corner? Ah one day....