As much as I love cooked duck, or duck confit, roasted duck is another favorite. Not only the meat is perfectly cooked and still keeps its unique texture and flavor, in this method we get an extra bonus with the crispy skin.
To the roasted duck legs here, I’ve added potatoes and carrots, which were dressed in the duck’s fat before roasting. I find roasting potatoes in duck fat is one of the tastiest ways to prepare them, and as it turned out, the carrots also loved this treatment, so I will definitely use them again. I’m sure you too will enjoy this dish, once you will prepare this dish.
A few notes:
* Salting the duck and curing it, even for this short time, helps dry the skin, and so it becomes extra-crispy when roasting.
* Note, that even after removing most of the salt, the rendered fat will still be salty, and as we season the vegetables with it, make sure not to season them with more salt.
* If you wish to prepare a larger amount, simply double the amounts.
* If you have any leftovers, they are perfect for a very tasty brunch, as you can see from the photos at the end of the recipe.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Curing time: 1 hour
Cooking/Roasting time: 1 hour 15 minutes
2 large duck legs (about 12 oz/340 grams each)
3 Tbs Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (450 grams) red baby potatoes, unpeeled, cut into medium pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into thick chunks
3 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half
2 bay leaves
1 star anise
1. With a sharp paring knife, make small cuts in the duck skin, avoiding the meat. Sprinkle the salt all over and let stand, skin side up, at room temperature, for 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Discard most of the salt from the duck legs and place them in a frying pan, skin side down. Place over medium heat, and cook gently, so that the fat will render slowly, for about 10 minutes, tilting the pan occasionally. Turn the duck over and fry gently for about 5 minutes. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the vegetables, bay leave and star anise in a large baking dish in one layer. Take the pan out of the oven, but keep it on. Transfer the duck legs to a warm plate. Carefully pour the fat from the pan over the vegetables and mix to coat. Place the duck legs on top.
4. Roast for about 40 minutes, until the vegetables and duck legs are roasted through. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
(Don’t discard the duck fat that is left in the pan. It is excellent for frying eggs.)
* If you have any leftovers, use them to prepare a great brunch dish: cut the vegetables and duck meat into small cubes, and fry gently in the reserved duck fat, until golden. Transfer to a warm serving plate. Fry an egg or two, in any way you prefer, and add to the plate. Add a few cut cherry tomatoes, warm them up a bit and add to the plate. Serve immediately.