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Author Notes: Duck is a rich meal. The breast is prized by restaurant and home chefs alike for ease of preparation and it's rich dark meat. The legs can be salt cured and preserved in their own fat but they don't have to be. Often on sale because the breasts are in greater demand fresh duck legs can often be purchased for the price of organic chicken.
The legs will render more than enough fat for Sarladaise potatoes, the classic accompaniment and there is a zesty orange salad to complete a meal easily under $10/person. The duck takes 3 hours to roast but most of that time can be spent doing other things.
This is the 2nd recipe in a series of luxury for less ideas. —David
- 4 large duck legs
- 4 large yukon gold potatoes (peeled and sliced very thin 1/8")
- 1 large red onion(sliced into 1/8" slices)
- 4 sweet oranges(ends removed and peeled with a knife and then sliced into 1/4" slices, seeds removed)
- 1/2 head bibb lettuce
- 1/2 head radicchio
- olive oil
- sherry vinegar
- Ras El Hanouf (or curry powder)
- For this dish I prefer an enameled cast iron skillet or a stainless steel one. (I don't want my skillet to drink any of that rich duck fat) Find one that is ovenproof and can hold the 4 duck legs. sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground black pepper over the duck legs. On medium heat brown the legs for about 15 minutes or until well browned. Turn them skin side up and put them into a 300 degree oven covered with lid or aluminum foil. In two hours check for doneness, pour off fat, uncover and put back in oven at 325. Check again in 30 minutes and turn up oven to 350. If you like fruit with your duck you can roast it these last 30 minutes in the bottom of the pan. Peaches, Mangos, Cherries are all delicious.
- For the potatoes, heat the rendered duck fat in a skillet on medium to med high heat. Brown the potato slices 1-2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- For the salad dressing mix 1/3 cup sherry vinegar with the same amount of olive oil and duck fat. Add 1 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout or curry powder and a pinch of salt.
- For the salad place the onion slices into the marinade while assembling. Gently tear the bibb and radicchio and distribute among 4 plates. Arrange the orange slices on top of the bibb and radicchio. Grill the onion slices briefly in a skillet (high heat) under the broiler or on a grill. Arrange onion slices on top of orange slices. Pour remaining dressing over 4 salads.
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