Friday, May 12, 2006

Honey-balsamic Roasted Duck Legs

4 duck legs
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
Pinch of sea salt & a few peppercorns (if you have a mixture of pink & black peppercorns so much the better, but just ordinary black will do)

Mix all the ingredients (except the duck) together, pour half into the bottom of a small dish (just big enough to hold all the duck legs in a single layer), and add the duck, wiping it in the dish so the bottom side gets coated. Then pour over the rest of the marinade, making sure all the duck is touched with it. Cover with clingfilm and pop in the fridge to steep for an hour or 3 (you could prob leave it overnight it you like, and if you have only 20mins to spare it probably wouldn't suffer excessively for it).

Preheat the oven to 180oC. Shake the duck from the marinade (but save it!) and put them on a rack over a baking dish, skin-side up and pour a few inches of water into the dish. This is important as a) the duck will drip lots of fat and you don't want it swimming in it (remember, its a duck - not a fish!), and b) the marinade will drip too and it will BURN and you will never ever get your dish clean again if you don't have the water there. Put the duck in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, but do not abandon it entirely, remember I said it needed basting? Periodically spoon a little of the reserved marinade over the duck. Halfway through the cooking time, turn the legs over so that the cut side can be basted as well. In a pestle and mortar bash together the salt and pepper to a fine powder and when there is only 10 mins cooking time left turn the legs again skin-side up, use up the last of the marinade (if there is any) and sprinkle the salt/pepper mix all over the skin and return to the oven.

Serves 3 people as baguette fillings (or if one person is greedy and has two legs), or 4 when served with some accompaniments.

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