This delicious braised duck recipe is one my mother regularly cooked when I was growing up. I’ve added shards of crispy pan-fried prosciutto to serve but this is optional.
4 whole duck legs(drumstick and thigh)
sea salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 long strips orange peel
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup Marsala wine or red wine
1 cup good-quality beef stock
350 grams dried pappardelle pasta
1 ball fresh mozzarella in whey, well drained
parmesan for grating
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Season the duck. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and cook the duck legs skin-side down for 10 minutes until golden. Transfer to a roasting dish.
Pour off the excess fat, leaving 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and rosemary with a good pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, cinnamon, orange peel and the bay leaves then sprinkle over the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes then add the Marsala and stock and bring to the boil.
Tip over the duck legs then cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1½ hours until the duck is very tender. Remove the duck and let cool slightly. Pull the meat off the bones, discarding the skin, fat and bones. Add the meat back to the sauce.
TO ASSEMBLE: Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well.
Combine the pasta and duck sauce in a large baking dish and top with the ripped mozzarella and a generous grating of parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
COOK’S NOTE: I like to braise the duck 1-2 days ahead of using. Strip off the meat and add back to the pan then cover and refrigerate. Spoon off and discard all the fat that will have set on the surface before tossing with the pasta and reheating.