Monday, April 21, 2014

Duck Legs Braised in White Wine

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend!
Mine was really good, quite relaxing and definitely sweet. I ate lots of chocolate eggs and some chocolate filled colomba  (our traditional Italian Easter cake). All without worrying about my waistline. It's Easter, right? So, why not!
In addition to the guilt-free chocolate, what I like most about this holiday is sitting around the dinner table and enjoy a special meal with my family. To make this Easter dinner special, I did not prepare the traditional lamb, but preferred to make it a little different, easy and fun. I cooked duck legs, braised in white wine. Exquisite! The aroma of the meat, with the wine and the herbs flooded my kitchen, and I couldn't wait for the meat to be ready to have a taste.
This recipe is very easy to prepare. It takes about an hour and a half to cook, but requires very little effort. The duck cooks in the white wine sauce without needing much attention. While you wait for it to be ready, you can sit and relax, or maybe prepare one or two side dishes to go with the meat. I served mine with oven-baked "fries", and a green salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado, topped with a quick Italian (of course!) vinagrette dressing, simply made with extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
This dish was truly appreciated at my dinner table. My younger boy said the chicken was really tasty ... Well, I did not want to spoil the moment and argue about it. So, enjoy the "chicken"!

Ingredients  for about 4 servings:

  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 black olives
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 cups of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt
Preparation time: About 1 and a half  hours


Step 1: Crush the garlic cloves (by pressing down with a knife blade flat) and chop the olives, bay leaves and rosemary. Add to a large skillet with the olive oil, and saute' for a couple of minutes over medium heat.

Step 2: Add the duck legs and saute' for a few minutes on each side.

Step 3: Add salt and the white wine. Cover and cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes (or longer for bigger legs). Turn the legs over every 20 to 30 minutes or so. You should have plenty of sauce when cooking duck , from all the fat in the skin. So you should not worry about the meat burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Check with a fork for readiness before serving.

One more thing: I have some left over duck meat. I will use it tonight to make some pappardelle with duck ragu. I will post the recipe as soon as I can. So, stay tuned!
 Buon Appetito!

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