Duck doesn’t need to be intimidating

Try this recipe with D’Artagnan duck legs for starters.

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Roasted Duck Legs with Red Cabbage Salad

Sponsored by Cronig’s Markets

There you are trying to think about meals for the week and you see D’Artagnan duck legs in the meat section at Cronig’s Market. Are you intimidated? What should I do? How on earth do I cook duck legs? 

In restaurants, you often see Duck Confit. Confit is a centuries-old process of preservation by salt-curing a piece of meat to preserve it and then cooking it in its own fat. The meat is flavorful and tender. True confit is a process — and it can be a time-consuming process. There is a simpler way to enjoy tasty, tender duck legs. They are not quite as tender, but simple and truly delicious. 

After you’ve roasted these duck legs, you will have leftover duck fat in the roasting pan — prized in any kitchen. Strain the fat and refrigerate it, use it to roast potatoes, nothing better!

Roasted Duck Legs with Red Cabbage Salad

Serves 4

4 duck legs, rinsed, patted dry
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 heaping Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme
1 large shallot, minced

At least one hour before baking, remove duck legs and pat dry. In a heavy shallow baking pan, not glass, add a light amount of olive oil, minced shallots, and chopped thyme. Take a small, sharp knife and poke the skin on the legs, this will help the skin get crispy.

Preheat oven to 300°

Season duck legs with salt and pepper. Lay duck legs on top in the prepared pan and let it sit out at room temp for at least an hour. 

Cover with foil and bake for two hours. 

Raise oven heat to 425° and uncover. Roast for about 20 more minutes until crispy.

Serve on a bed of Red Cabbage Salad.

Red Cabbage Salad

Zest of 2 oranges
Segments and juice of two oranges
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
5 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced (use a Japanese slicer if you have one)
2 cups arugula

Combine ingredients, then add cabbage and arugula.