Slow-Cooked Duck with Blackberries and Apples
Fragrant blackberries and tart apples make an excellent sauce for braised duck legs. Serve with steamed greens and creamy mash for a lovely autumnal supper.
Serves : 2
Prep : 10 minutes
Cook : 2 hours
- 2 duck legs
- 250ml Madeira, port or marsala wine
- 100ml chicken stock
- 1 red onion
- 1 large bramley apple
- 6 cloves garlic
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- About 75g blackberries (roughly 2 handfuls)
- Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
- Prick the duck legs all over using a skewer or carving fork and pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. Put them skin-side-down in a cold, heavy-based ovenproof pan and set the pan over a medium heat. Brown the duck legs on all sides, turning them as necessary as they release their fat. Carefully pour off and reserve off all of the fat from the pan, then pour in the alcohol and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then transfer the pan to the oven and cook the duck for 1 hour, turning the legs a couple of times.
- Meanwhile, prepare the onion and apple. Peel the red onion and quarter it from root to tip. Cut each quarter into 2 wedges. Quarter the bramley, cut away the tough core from the centre of each piece and cut each quarter into 3 wedges. Pour 2 tablespoons of the reserved duck fat into a frying pan set over a high heat. Add the wedges of onion and apple to the hot fat and fry them quickly until golden brown on their cut sides. Lift the onion and apple pieces onto a plate and set aside.
- When the duck has had its hour in the oven, turn the legs skin-side up and add the apple and onion wedges, tucking them in around the duck legs. Add the whole, unpeeled garlic cloves, 2 of the thyme sprigs, and the chicken stock. Season everything well with salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until the duck meat is tender and pulls away easily from the bone.
- Turn the oven temperature up to 220˚C. Scatter over the blackberries and bake for a further 15 minutes, until the berries are softened and starting to leak juice and the duck skin is golden and crisp. Scatter with the remaining thyme leaves and serve.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK