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Ideas for duck legs


Shalmanese
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Since deciding to switch to duck fat as my primary cooking fat, I find myself disassembling 2 ducks about once every 3 months. Confit and braising are delicious but they can get repetitive. What are some other preparations of duck legs?

One that I've found that I'm going to try is a chinese style in which the duck is salt cured, then steamed gently, then floured and deep fried. I'm going to try this tomorrow with the 4 duck legs I have but I'm also looking for other interesting ideas.

PS: I am a guy.

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Surely there must be a way to make duck legs in the method of pork carnitas (all searches for duck carnitas reveals a completely different type of method). I'm thinking if you place duck legs skin side down in a shallow pan, add some braising liquid and cook, covered for ~1.5 - 2 hours. Remove the lid, cook for another 15 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated, then fry the skin in the rendered far until crispy and serve.

Has anyone ever tried to do this?

PS: I am a guy.

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I've used this recipe. I like the marinade, though I use less five spice powder than called for. The problem is, I haven't had great success with the texture of the meat roasting them in the oven. I was looking more for the Cantonese roast duck texture. Guess I will just have to continue trying.

I love to hear your outcome of salt cured, steamed, floured and fried.

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I like braising them in masterstock (yeah, exactly what you said you were sick of, I know ... but it's good), or brining and roasting them coated with a glaze of the masterstock. I love masterstock and duck, it's a combination made in heaven for me.

Edited by Broken English (log)

James.

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Seems like if you bone them, you could use the meat in a variety of ways. I had duck last night, in crepes. The recipe that I was loosely following called for cooked chicken, which I had none of, but I did have some cooked duck in the freezer. It was delicious.

I've also made Asian-style dumplings with duck. I used breast, but there's no reason legs wouldn't work.

Duck pot pie? Duck salad sandwiches? Duck tacos (I guess that would be one use of the carnitas)?

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I make ersatz Peking duck whenever I need duck fat.

I've found the blanching and hanging doesn't waste very much fat. I season with a little finely ground sea salt, but that's it. The rest comes later. Then I make a few score marks on the thighs, where they won't be noticed, and roast the duck on a rack in a pan with enough water as not to evaporate completely during the roasting process.

When the cooking is 2/3 done, I pour off the volume of fat (and water) from the pan. I'll separate them later. Only then do I season the duck and brush with the soy/honey glaze. Then I finish it (no water in the pan this time -- trying to crisp up the skin as much as possible). I'll get a little more fat, but it is much darker and anise-flavored. I save that stuff too -- for stir fries and such.

The results are close enough that my Chinese in-laws don't seem to notice. And I get about 2 cups of beautiful white fat from two ducks. (And about 1/4 cup of anise/ginger/cinnamon/white pepper fat.)

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Also - you might want to pick up Peterson's The Duck Cookbook. Really nice book, out of print, but you can get used copies via Amazon (or others) easily enough.

Just a quick look at the recipes that use duck legs:

Pappardelle with Duck Sauce

Duck Legs with Thai Green Curry

Duck Legs with Mole Sauce

Duck Leg Tagine

Duck Leg Stew with Wild Mushrooms

Many recipes for variations on braised/slow roasted duck legs - Indian spiced, Hoisin-Orange glaze, etc.

And a whole section on sausages. How'd I forget sausage? If you're a sausage maker, an excess of duck leg meat is great!

I checked this book out of the library, took one look at it at home, and immediately bought a used copy. It's really good.

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Also - you might want to pick up Peterson's The Duck Cookbook. Really nice book, out of print, but you can get used copies via Amazon (or others) easily enough.

....

Let me add my commendation for this book! I was given it by a good friend and it's really a great resource for anything using duck. And I do love duck.

Edited because my typing skills suck tocay.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I love cheap duck legs. Below are some pix of my orange s.v. approach. I shoot them up with oil and orange juice then reseal the vac bag for a 2 hr 60C bath. Sear and serve with rice and veg.

pix 001.jpg

pix 023.jpg

pix 030.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Ive been throwing them into Vacuum bags with soy sauce, fresh ginger, fish sauce, and a little oyster sauce and cooking them sous vide. I throw them under a broiler for a couple of minutes right before serving and I find they turn out delicious!

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This is perhaps more of a project than you are looking for, but you could make duck sausage out of the legs. Ruhlman's Charcuterie has a recipe for duck sausage that has turned out well for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Though it's really just another variation on braising, I make duck ragu by braising duck legs with tomatoes, a little white wine or madeira, a few spices (the usual suspects: cinnamon, clove, star anise, etc).

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A lot of my thoughts have been covered already (sausages, terrine, etc) but they also respond well to being cured and smoked, then shaved into a salad, then of course when you accumulate a lot of the meaty bones you put them into white beans. Rillettes made from duck are not to be underestimated either, though I guess that's technically a subset of braised/confit preparation.

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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