I know, I know. It’s January 1st, and you are mentally replaying moments from last night. Like when you said ‘Champagne doesn’t give me a hangover’. And when you found that bottle of incredibly sweet liqueur at the back of the cupboard from three years ago. You just want to quietly sit and think how many kale smoothies you will drink to atone for the last week. How healthy, and energised and trim you’re going to become. And here I am putting up a duck confit recipe with boozy shallots to boot. But sure it’s Thursday, surely 2015 doesn’t properly start until Monday…
This was my dinner last night, along with lots of creamy mashed potato. I then discovered the Dutch tradition of eating Oliebollen (like a delicious cross between a doughnut and a hot cross bun) on New Year’s Eve and really made it my own. There may have been some baked Camembert thrown in as well. No regrets.
This isn’t a traditional duck confit, it’s a quick cheats way I borrowed from Melissa Clark by way of Food 52. The shallots are from Ottolenghi’s latest book, Plenty More. They make a thick winey sauce (not pictured) which is perfect for serving with the duck legs. This serves two, but can easily be scaled up.
- 2 duck legs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- A crumbled bay leaf
- Some fresh thyme leaves
- Olive oil
- 8 shallots, whole but peeled
- 200ml stock (I used rich beef stock for maximum flavour)
- 400ml wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 25g butter
- Olive oil
- Season the duck legs with the salt, bay leaf, thyme and pepper.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate over night.
- Heat the oven to 165C before cooking the next day (our oven was gas, and a little hotter so the duck turned out more crispy, though still very tasty).
- Pan fry the duck legs, fat side down, over medium heat in a pan or oven proof skillet for 20 minutes to render out as much of the fat as you can (don’t cook too high or they’ll just burn without getting all the fat out).
- Either transfer to a small oven proof dish with the duck fat or use the skillet.
- Flip the legs over so the skin side is up and they are surrounded by the rendered fat.
- Cover with tinfoil and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove the tinfoil and cook until crispy (another 40 minutes to 1 hour).
- Meanwhile, pan fry the whole shallots in a medium saucepan with some oil over medium heat until they start to colour – about five minutes.
- Add the wine, stock, bay, thyme, and black peppercorns.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for one hour.
- Remove the shallots, strain the sauce and then bring the sauce to the boil to thicken.
- Season and add the butter to the sauce.
- Add back in the shallots and serve with the duck.