We don’t really do Valentine’s Day, but tonight’s dinner would be the perfect treat for the loved one in your life. If you’ve never eaten confit duck before you need to try it. You won’t want to eat duck any other way! It’s slowly poached in fat – usually duck or goose fat, but I used butter (of course!). It ends up beautifully soft and melt-in-your-mouth. Yum!
Now this dish does require some forward-planning. You need to salt the duck legs overnight/12 hours. It is totally worth it though.
For the duck:
2 duck legs
20 g salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
350 g butter (depending on pan size)
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
For the creamed cabbage:
1/2 savoy cabbage, sliced
3 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
100 ml white wine
30 ml double cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over the duck legs, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight. This will draw out the moisture in the duck legs. When you’re ready to start cooking, rinse the salt off the duck legs (give it a good rinse, otherwise they will taste too salty), and pat them dry using kitchen towels.
Pre-heat the oven to 100°C.
Melt most of the butter in an oven-proof pan that is just big enough for the duck legs (otherwise you will need to use more butter). Place the duck legs in the pan, and add more butter until the legs are just covered. Add the whole peeled garlic cloves, and bake in the oven for 3 hours.
When the duck legs are nearly ready, prepare the cabbage. Using 2 tbsp of butter from the duck pan, fry the bacon until crisp and cut into small lardons. Add the sliced garlic and sautee for a minute before adding the cabbage, salt and pepper. Stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add the wine. Place a lid on the pan and steam the cabbage for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the cream. When the cream starts to bubble and thicken, remove from the heat and set aside somewhere warm until you’re ready to plate up.
Remove the duck legs from the oven. Heat some fat from the duck pan in a frying pan and fry the duck legs, skin-side down, until the skin is golden and crispy (just a couple of minutes).
Serve the duck legs atop a mound of creamy cabbage, not forgetting the lovely sweet braised garlic from the duck pan! Finish with a spoonful of ducky butter.