A GOOD COOK KNOWS HER CLASSICS!
If you truly want to become an accomplished cook watch those old Julie Child cooking shows. Better still use her books. Master the cooking techniques of classic French recipes. Then you can change the ingredients to create something at once new but familiar.
This is a faster-cooking, more delicately flavoured version of the beefy pot au feu These days duck legs are easy to find. Our local supermarket had then individually frozen. So very convenient. I am giving you a quick version of duck pot au feu.
4 uncooked duck legs
1 litre chicken stock
4, carrots shopped (not too small)
1 leek, green tops removed, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped about the same size as the carrots
150 g celery, chopped (around one large stock)
1 small onion, peeled and studded with 4-5 cloves
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 small cinnamon stick
salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large frying pan, brown the duck legs all over. Don’t hurry this. Brown them slowly, then carefully drain off the excess fat. Pour this into a small container and freeze for future use.
Drain the dug legs on some kitchen paper to remove excess fat.
Pour the stock into a very large pan, add the vegetables and bring to the boil. When boiling, add the spices and the duck legs. Simmer for about 45 minutes, skimming off the fat as it rises to the surface. If you have browned the duck legs long and slowly enough there should be very little fat.
When the duck is cooked, remove it from the cooking liquid and serve with the vegetables and stock alongside. (You could also remove the vegetables and reduce the stock further to intensify its flavour.)
If you are cooking for two I suggest you keep all the ingredient amounts the same and just use two duck legs. The vegetables are so delicious you may want to be a little greedy and enjoy more vegetables. For your convenience I have included the recipe on the right side of this page.