Sweet and sticky duck legs

We’re trying to eat less chicken. Well, Alex is trying to make me eat less chicken. It goes with everything and I put it with everything. So, we’re stepping away. More vegetables, and more non-chicken meats for these guys. This week I experimented with duck legs.

I love duck (even more than chicken, actually), I just don’t cook with it very often. The occasional duck breast will find its way into my kitchen, but once I’ve failed to crisp the skin enough or get the right shade of pink inside, I give up and forget about it for a while, turning back to lovely easy chicken. But duck legs are really cheap – we bought two athletic-looking legs for about £3 from our butcher – and they’re easier to cook with than you’d think.

The great thing about this sweet and sticky duck recipe is that it’s very low on ingredients and effort. Once you’ve browned the legs a little, it’s really a case of chucking a few more things into a pan with them and letting it do its thing. Perhaps while you make my Potatoes Boulangeres to go with it?

Make this your next mid-week meal instead of the standard chicken and sweet potato and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

how to cook duck legs, sweet and sticky duck, duck recipes, duck leg recipes, food blogger, plates and places

how to cook duck legs, sweet and sticky duck, duck recipes, duck leg recipes, food blogger, plates and places

Serves 2

You’ll need

2 duck legs

1 onion, sliced

2 strips of orange peel

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1 tbsp sugar

Get a wok nice and hot and then add the duck legs for 5 minutes before turning over to do the other side for 5 minutes. You want them to be browning slightly but don’t worry if they don’t look crispy, this isn’t the kind of duck you get from the takeaway with pancakes. There’s no need for oil as the duck will release lots of its own tasty fat, which you need to add the sliced onion into. Let the onion cook with the duck legs for around 5 minutes, remembering to keep stirring so nothing burns and turning the legs over every so often.

Add the turmeric, cinnamon, and orange peel and cook for another few minutes. Then add the pomegranate molasses and 400ml of water. Stir well and bring to the boil. Once it’s bubbling rather ferociously, turn the heat down and when it’s simmering gently, pop on the lid.

This will need to cook for just over an hour, but remember to keep checking it and stirring to ensure that sticky sauce doesn’t burn. If it looks like it’s burning, or the sauce has reduced down too much, just add a little more water. Resist coating the legs with the sauce when you stir – the texture of the skin is better if you leave it.

After an hour, take the lid off, stir in a pinch of salt and the sugar and let the sauce thicken up for a few minutes. Then serve.

Not sure what else you can do with your pomegranate molasses? Try this.

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Freelance writer, eater, drinker and cook living in London.

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