Thursday, 6 May 2010
Leg of Duck with Plum and Ginger Sauce and Crispy Sweet Potatoes
I have come across two popular reasons why people turn up their noses at buying or eating duck legs. I have heard it said that duck legs are as tough as old boots and that duck legs have virtually no meat on them and are therefore not worth their purchase price. In the first instance, the simple answer is that any meat which is not cooked in the correct fashion has the capacity to become as tough as old boots. In the second, we have to ensure when purchasing duck legs - particularly smaller ones - that we are in fact purchasing both the leg and the thigh.
This delicious duck leg recipe is for two people.
2 organic, free range duck legs and thighs
6 ripe plums
1 red bell pepper
1 glass of red wine
1" ginger stem
2 large sweet potatoes
The oven should be put on to preheat to 350F/180C/Gas mark 4. The skin side of the duck legs should then be pricked several times with a fork and they should be placed, skin side down, in to a dry, non-stick frying pan and brought up to a medium heat. The duck fat will be released through the holes made by the fork and the skin should brown up nicely in the space of around five minutes.
While the duck legs are browning, the plums should be halved and de-stoned, the red bell pepper should be sliced and the seeds discarded and the ginger should be very finely sliced. These items should be added to a large casserole dish and the wine poured on top. The browned duck legs can then be sat on top, skin side facing uppermost, and the frying-pan with the duck fat in it should be set aside for later use. The dish should be covered and placed in to the oven for two and a half hours.
The sweet potatoes should be peeled, chopped and simmered in boiling water for fifteen to twnety minutes, until soft. They should then be drained well before being returned to the pot and shaken around a little to cause the edges to fluff up. The duck fat in the frying-pan should then be brought up to a high heat and the sweet potatoes stirred around in it for just a couple of minutes to crisp up.
The peas should be cooked according to the instructions on the packet and the meal plated up as shown above.