A great main course for a dinner party.
- 4 duck legs
- 150 g coarse sea salt, plus extra for serving
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head garlic (separated into cloves)
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 dried bay leaves (crumbled)
- olive oil and vegetable oil
- 700 g duck or goose fat
- white beans
- Place the duck legs skin side down in the coarse sea salt and leave for 15 minutes. Scrape off the sea salt and place the legs into a ceramic dish with freshly ground black pepper, one crushed garlic clove, four sprigs of thyme and the bay leaves. Pack tightly into a ceramic dish, skin side down, then cover with a mixture of vegetable and olive oils, cover the dish with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/Gas 2).
- Scrape the marinade off the duck pieces.
- Heat the duck or goose fat in a heavy ovenproof casserole dish, then add the duck, the remaining garlic cloves and the remaining thyme. Make sure that the duck is completely submerged in the melted fat.
- Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 3½-4 hours, or until the meat is very tender when pierced with a skewer and the fat in the skin is completely rendered.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool uncovered. Strain half of the fat and bring to the boil in another pan, then pour into a clean ceramic dish large enough to hold the duck without it touching the sides. Leave to set in the fridge.
- Once the duck is cool, place into the prepared ceramic dish and strain over the remainder of the melted fat and place into the fridge for 1-2 hours to set. (This can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F/Gas 6).
- Scrape off the fat from the duck legs, then place into a roasting tray. Sprinkle over the coarse sea salt and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and golden-brown. Serve immediately.
- Cook the white beans in stock until softened, add the chorizo and allow to simmer. Use a blender to puree the white bean and chorizo until smooth. Layer the potato mash and bean/chorizo puree using a mould.
- For the Sauce:
- Put 1ltr of stock into a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer until it reduces significantly. Add 1/4ltr of port and allow the sauce to reduce until it has thickened and the flavour has become intensive. Add seasoning to taste.
More by Dermot McDonnell:
- Rack of Wicklow Mountain Lamb
- Pear Poached in Blackcurrant Juice with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
- Fillet of Wild Sea Bass Tempura with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pancetta Purée