- 750ml beer
- 500ml chicken stock
- 400g carrots
- 200g parsnips
- 6 duck legs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons runny honey, plus extra for brushing on the duck legs
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 2 medium onions, halved and each half cut into 4 wedges
Mashed potatoes, or boiled waxy potatoes
It is important to keep the duck skin out of the liquid in the pan, so that it will go crispy, as the vegetables and meat cook. I use a wide, shallow Le Creuset pan or an ovenproof sauté pan.
- In separate saucepans over a high heat, reduce the beer and the stock until each is down to 250ml of liquid.
- Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut them into large pieces – this should look rustic; the vegetables should be cut in half if medium-size, in 3 if large.
- Heat the oven to 150°C/ fan oven 130°C/mark 2. Trim the duck of any ragged bits of skin and season. Set an ovenproof sauté pan or hob-proof casserole over a high heat and, when it is so hot that the duck will sizzle when it hits the surface, add the duck, skin side down. Immediately turn down the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes until the skin is golden brown. The fat from under the skin will melt and run out. Turn the duck over and cook until pale gold on the other side.
- Remove the duck. Pour off the fat and keep it – it can be used for frying. Deglaze the pan with the reduced beer, then add the stock, carrots, parsnips, honey and thyme and put the legs back, skin side up. Tuck the wedges of onion around the duck. Bring to simmering point, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/mark 4. Skim all the fat off the top, then brush the duck with honey and cook, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes. The duck should be tender, with dark golden skin, and the liquid reduced.
To drink: Pinot Noir, the only red Alsatian wine, goes well with this. New Zealand Pinot Noirs also work very well. If you prefer white, try an Alsatian Pinot Gris.
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Source: [House and Garden]