French-style Stewed Duck Legs


6 duck legs
sea salt and black pepper
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 thyme sprig
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
1-3/4 cups dry red wine
1-3/4 cups port
splash of Madeira
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups veal stock, or extra chicken stock


  1. Trim the fat and skins from the sides of the duck legs, then season with salt and pepper. Heat a wide skillet until hot. In two batches, pan-fry the duck legs for 4 to 5 minutes, turning until golden brown all over. (You don’t need to add oil to the skillet.) Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside. Reserve the fat.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of the rendered duck fat in a large heavy pan or a cast-iron casserole. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and pan-fry over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Throw in the herbs and deglaze the pan with the wine, port, and Madeira. Bring to a boil and let bubble vigorously until the liquid has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Drain off any fat from the duck legs, then add them to the pan and pour in the stocks. If necessary, add a little boiling water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 2 hours until the duck meat is very tender. Let the duck legs cool in the braising stock.
  3. Once cooled, remove the duck legs from the pan and set aside. Strain the braising stock through a fine strainer into a clean pan and boil until reduced to a syrupy glaze. Skim off any fat or scum from the surface and check the seasoning.
  4. When ready to serve, gently reheat the duck legs in the reduced sauce, spooning the sauce over them to glaze, and finish the potatoes and carrots. Serve each duck leg with a portion of garlic potatoes and cilantro carrots.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Gordon Ramsay’s Maze