This dish is one of my favourites not the least because of its simplicity but it also tastes and looks great! However, be warned, it is not a quick meal to prepare with the duck legs taking 90 minutes to cook but actual hands on time is very short and the wait is definitely worthwhile! Although many would regard it as cheating the dish relies on a ready made . Sharwoods Plum Sauce, a gloriously sticky, sweet and spicy concoction. Strangely the sauce is becoming increasingly difficult to find here in Glasgow but both the Coop and Tesco continue to stock it.
2 x Duck legs (I used ones from Gressingham which are widely available. Don’t use wild duck as the legs are much smaller and contain a lot less fat).
For the stir fry
1 x Red Onion, medium sized
1 x Red Bell Pepper
1 x Yellow Bell Pepper
1 x Pak Choi
6 x Chestnut Mushrooms
You will also need
Plum Sauce (Sharwoods)
Maldon Sea Salt
3-4 Star Anise
and rice; white long grain, 1/3 of a cup per person.
- Place the duck leg in an oven proof dish, sprinkle about a teaspoons worth of Maldon sea salt over the skin of the duck legs, add the star anise, cover with a tightly fitting lid (I first cover the dish with a sheet of aluminium foil and place the lid of the dish on top of this) and placed in the oven at 180oC to cook for 60 minutes.
- While the duck legs are cooking cook the rice in boiling water, depending on the type of rice that you are using this will take around 15 to 20 minutes after which time the rice can be tipped into a sieve and be left to drain with the sieve hanging over the pan used to cook the rice and loosely covered by the pan lid. When it is time to plate up the rice is gently fluffed up using a pair of chop sticks and rinsed with a litre or so of boiling water. I am sure that many people will think that this way of cooking rice is heresy but it works for me and adds a great degree of flexibility to the timing of the cooking of the other dishes.
- After 60 minutes in the oven the duck legs will have released any excess fat and water and this should be poured off before returning them to the oven, this time uncovered, for a further 30 minutes.
- During the final 15 minutes of cooking the duck legs roughly cut the peppers, pak choy and onion into chunks about 2 to 3 cm square and stir fry in a hot wok in a little olive oil.
- Once the onion and pepper begins to soften add thinly sliced mushroom and continue to stir fry all the ingredients in the wok. I prefer to keep working the contents of the wok with a broad wooden spatula while more accomplished chefs will undoubtedly keep things moving with a simple flick of the wrist.
- As the sliced mushroom begins to take on a little colour add a splash of soya sauce and the pak choy, again cut into 2 to 3 cm squares, and mix well.
- Remove the duck legs from the oven and place on a chopping board and using a couple of forks pull the meat off the bones in large chunks and add to to wok together with a third to a half of a jar of plum sauce and continue to work with the spatula so as to ensure that the sauce evenly coats all of the vegetables as well as the meat.
- Finally reheat and rinse the rice that you set aside earlier with about a litre of boiling water, allow the rice to drain for a minute or so and then plate up onto a warm plate.