May 28, 2011

Roasted Duck Leg

My senior year of college, I had duck for the first time.  My friend Brad and I set out to do a french night, complete with french onion soup, poached pears, garlicky roasted potatoes, and duck a l'orange.  It was a fun culinary adventure and we still talk about that meal every time we get together.

When I saw duck legs on the cheap at my market, I literally did a little skip and a gasp.  When I got it home I was too excited to even fuss with spices or marinades, I just wanted some fatty slow-roasted goodness.

Golden-brown and Juicy: The Perfect Roasted Duck Leg

To prepare the duck for roasting, I trimmed off the excess fat and scored the skin.  To score the skin, you make shallow cuts just deep enough to release the fat but not reaching the meat.  The most common way is to do crossing diagonal cuts to create a diamond pattern.  I tucked the extra thigh meat under the leg, topped with salt and pepper, and slow-roasted for 2 hours at 325 F.  After removing from the oven, I rested for 10 minutes to reabsorb the juices.

The resulting leg is succulent and juicy with a crispy skin.  In the summer duck is too rich for me as a stand alone protein, so I pull the meat off and put in salads and tacos.

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