- handful coarse sea salt
- 4 bay leaves, roughly torn
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- handful thyme sprigs, roughly torn
- 4 ducks legs
- 100ml white wine
- STEP 1
The day before you want to make the dish, scatter half the salt, half the garlic and half of the herbs over the base of a small shallow dish. Lay the duck legs, skin-side up, on top, then scatter over the remaining salt, garlic and herbs. Cover the duck and refrigerate overnight. This can be done up to 2 days ahead.
- STEP 2
Pour the wine into a saucepan that will snugly fit the duck legs in a single layer. Brush the salt off the duck legs and place them, skin-side down, in the wine. Cover the pan with a lid and place over a medium heat. As soon as the wine starts to bubble, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook for 2 hours, checking occasionally that the liquid is just barely simmering. (If you own a heat diffuser, it would be good to use it here.) After 2 hours, the duck legs should be submerged in their own fat and the meat should feel incredibly tender when prodded. Leave to cool.
- STEP 3
The duck legs are now cooked and can be eaten immediately – or you can follow the next step if you like them crisp. If you are preparing ahead, pack the duck legs tightly into a plastic container or jar and pour over the fat, but not the liquid at the bottom of the pan. Cover and leave in the fridge for up to a month, or freeze for up to 3 months. The liquid you are left with makes a tasty gravy, which can be chilled or frozen until needed.
- STEP 4
To reheat and crisp up the duck legs, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the legs from the fat and place them, skin-side down, in an ovenproof frying pan. Roast for 30-40 mins, turning halfway through, until brown and crisp. Serve with the reheated gravy, a crisp salad and some crisp golden ptoatoes.
Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2005