We Gourmandistanis are big fans of duck confit. We’ve written before about our less fat-intesive method of making it, and we currently have some boned-out bits stuffed in the freezer, waiting for a pizza, flatbread or perhaps a salad. But while we love the convenience of crisping a nice confit leg for dinner, our kitchen (OK, Michelle) is more and more often opting for a rival method—roasting duck legs with bread crumbs, butter and mustard.
It takes a couple of hours, but compared to the time it takes to make confit (at least Steve’s bit of grinding spices, rubbing them into legs, refrigerating overnight and baking) it doesn’t seem that bad. And the resulting tender meat covered in buttery, crispy, mustardy crumbs along with a rich, cidery sauce is something we’ve very much come to enjoy.
We’re not saying “so long” to delicious duck confit—but we’re definitely going to continue keeping Dijon mustard and breadcrumbs around.
DUCK LEGS WITH MUSTARD AND BREAD CRUMBS
(adapted from Madeleine Kamman’s In Madeleine’s Kitchen)
- 2 duck legs, about 1/2 lb. each, or slightly larger
- Salt and pepper
- 2 heaping tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 TB butter, melted
- 3 TB dry bread crumbs (regular bread crumbs or panko)
- 1 TB chopped parsley and/or other fresh herbs
- 1/4 c. dry hard cider
- 1/4 c. duck, veal or chicken stock
- Additional chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Salt and pepper the meat sides of the duck legs. Place legs in a small gratin pan, fat side up. Slather a heaping teaspoon of mustard on the top (fat) side of each duck leg.
In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, bread crumbs and chopped herbs. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle duck legs with the bread crumb mixture. Press down a bit with your fingers to set.
Tent pan loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for about 1-3/4 hours. Then, remove foil and bake for 15 minutes more.
Remove duck legs from pan and set aside. Pour off most of the fat. On stove, deglaze the pan with the cider and stock.
To serve, spoon gravy over duck legs and sprinkle with additional chopped parsley.
NOTE: The dish is almost as good without the sauce.