Thursday, 3 April 2014

Duck Leg Guazzetto

This was a recipe that I printed off years ago and that has been hanging around in my box of magazine clippings and printouts and I finally got around to making it! It was delicious, all that slow cooking really concetrated the flavours and the duck was lovely and juicy and tender.

Duck Leg Guazzetto (from A Mingling of Tastes)
(Serves 4-6)

500ml boiling water
30g dried porcini mushrooms
4 duck legs
2 tbsp oil
¼ tsp salt
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
125ml dry white wine
750ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary
5 whole cloves
parmesan for serving

Pour the boiling water over the dried porcini in a bowl and let stand for 15 to 20 mins, or until softened. Pour the contents of the bowl through a sieve into another bowl, reserving the soaking liquid. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit, chop into small pieces and set aside.
Remove any excess fat and about 2/3 of the skin from each thigh leaving a two inch strip of skin down the center. Leave the drumstick skin intact. Pat the duck dry with a paper towel.

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Sear the duck, in two batches if necessary, so you do not overcrowd the pot. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Set the legs aside on a plate and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Turn the heat down a little and add onion to pot, cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 8 mins. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the porcini mushrooms and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for 2 mins. Add the wine and return all the duck legs to the pot along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and cook uncovered for about 5 mins to reduce the wine. Add the chicken stock, mushroom-soaking liquid, bay leaves, rosemary and cloves and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cover and gnetly simmer for an hour, turning the duck legs once halfway through.

Reposition the lid to partially cover and continue to simmer for 30 mins. Turn duck legs again, remove lid and simmer for an additional 30 mins, until the meat is very tender and sauce is thickened.

Remove the duck legs from the pot and set on a chopping board. Allow the sauce to continue simmering for 15 to 30 mins or until you are left with about 500ml of rich, slightly thick sauce.

Remove the rosemary sprig, bay leaves and cloves from the sauce and skim off any fat. Cover and keep warm over low heat. When the duck is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and fat and shred the meat into bite size pieces. Return the meat to the pot. Keep covered over low heat until your pasta is ready. Serve over the pasta with grated parmesan sprinkled on top.

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