Fast and Easy Preserved Duck Legs with Chestnuts

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Jeremiah Tower Cooks

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2002

  • About

There are two ways to go with this most glorious and easiest of fast foods—either served with something rich like potatoes cooked in water-rendered duck fat and truffles or wild mushrooms, or with something acidic with a bitter edge that will cut and act as a foil against the richness of the duck such as a fruit or a salad.

You can serve this dish without the gizzards, but they are truly delicious! And as for the chestnuts, buy them from a street vendor on your way home. Or to make this dish really fast and easy, buy the very best quality chesnuts in jars and toast them in a 325-degree oven for ten minutes before using them. Or eat these fast food ducks with your favorite green salad and be done with it!


  • 4 fat-preserved duck legs
  • 2 large Winesap or other tart apples
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 duck gizzards cooked in duck fat
  • ¼ cup Muscat wine (or Riesling)
  • 8–10 fresh chestnuts, roasted, double-peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange Sichuan pepper salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herb flowers
  • freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the grill or broiler to medium.

Peel the apples, quarter them, and remove the cores. Chop them into -inch dice and put them in a bowl with the lemon juice. Mix well.

Season the duck legs with pepper and grill or broil them for 5 minutes on the flesh side and 8 minutes on the skin side. Warm the gizzards in ½ cup of the fat from the preserved duck leg jar without letting it boil.

While the duck legs are cooking, put the apples in a nonstick frying pan, turn the heat to high, and cook for 5 minutes, tossing or stirring them constantly. Add the wine off the heat and flame it. Add the chestnuts and cook another 2 minutes while mixing them with the apples.

Put the apple-chestnut mix in the center of hot plates. Then put the legs on top, spoon any of the dressing and chestnuts left in the pan around the plates, along with the gizzards. Sprinkle the gizzards with the flavored salt, pepper, and the herb flowers.