Crispy Duck Legs
Oh, duck. Duck is so super, crazy good. It took me ages to discover duck. I think my mom made me my first duck meal, a Marcus Samuelsson recipe, back when I wasn’t eating beef, and I so instantly fell in love I was like, “Who needs beef, like EVER?” I had a similar reaction to morel mushrooms when I wasn’t eating meat (at Samuelsson’s restaurant, as it happens, because he’s amazing, I guess), but even duck and morels couldn’t keep me away from a ribeye forever.
Anyway, duck is delicious. It seemed like such a daunting thing to me at first, to prepare duck. But this recipe I’m about to share with you is incredibly simple. Don’t believe me? It’s a Mark Bittman recipe. Does he do long, involved, complicated recipes? If so, I haven’t seen one.
The only downside to making duck legs at home instead of enjoying it only on date nights at fancy restaurants is that I have to share the skin with my kids. Because they go nuts for it. Crispy duck skin is like crispy chicken skin but crunchier. And tastier.
But the upside is that the duck flavored all of the vegetables around it, so Neko was happier than ever to eat the carrots that had been simmering in delicious duck fat. Conrad was still wary of the veggies, but ugh, that guy.
My kids have been completely poultry confused since Thanksgiving. Usually they call everything chicken, since that’s what we eat the most. So when we dove into the Thanksgiving bird, I had to keep correcting them that we were eating turkey, not chicken. Of course when I pulled out these duck legs a week or so later, they started calling it turkey, and I gave up after one or two corrections.
It’s a bird. It’s tasty. We all love it.
I highly recommend finding some duck legs and giving this recipe a shot. Get a leg per person, or half a leg per child, and enjoy the heck out of that skin. Use any leftovers the way you’d use leftover roast chicken, in soups or tacos, and you will not be sorry. Promise.
The recipe is over here at Bittman’s NYT page. I added an extra duck leg but kept everything else the same and I think it was perfect.