Brian says this is a great recipe to make ahead as you can keep it for up to a month in the fridge. There's always some on hand at his restaurant for emergencies!

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  • 4 large legs of duck

  • 2 tbsp Malden sea salt

  • 2 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 3 garlic heads

  • 1 onion

  • 1 carrot

  • Pepper mill

  • Rendered duck fat

  • For the sauce

  • 75g butter

  • 2 chopped shallots

  • 1 glass Madeira

  • 1 glass dry white wine

  • ½ pint thickened veal stock

  • For the fat chips

  • 4 medium potatoes cut 1cm square and 8cm long

  • 200gr runner beans cut thinly on an angle

  • 50g butter

  • Salt and pepper


  • 1.

    Make sure duck legs are free of quills and wax. Lay legs on tray, sprinkle with sea salt, chopped bay leaves and rubbed thyme. Cut 2 garlic heads in half and pile the duck legs around. Cover with cling film. Leave to marinade for 24 hours in the fridge. Wash off the herbs and pat dry. Lay into a deep, heavy based pot.

  • 2.

    Cut up onion and carrot into large dice and place in with ducks and last head of garlic cut in half. Cover with melted duck fat. Cover with a lid and cook in oven for 2-3 hours at 140C. Make sure fat does not boil. When cooked, take out and leave to cool. Then decant the duck legs into a clean bowl. Strain the fat through a fine chinois over the duck legs and refrigerate for 2 days, they will keep like this for ages if well covered with the fat. To serve, remove from the fat. Heat a frying pan then add the duck legs, non-skin side down. After 2 minutes, turn over to skin side. Put in hot oven at 210 C for 10 minutes until hot all the way through.

  • 3.

    Take out and drain on kitchen paper. Meanwhile, make Madeira sauce by sweating off shallots in 25g butter, do not colour. Add Madeira and white wine and reduce to 1/3 of volume. Add thickened veal stock and bring to boil. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add 2 oz butter slowly to sauce, shaking all the time. Whisk the sauce and serve the duck on top of a bed of runner beans with fat chips and the sauce round the dish. Serve the duck skin side up.

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