Braised Duck Leg with Duck Liver & Roast Garlic Polenta

This may seem an odd combination at first, but my guarantee that it’s delicious is that we often eat it – and assorted variations – at home. It’s a good way to savour two parts of the duck as well as soft polenta. Serve with steamed courgettes and beans.

Ingredients

  • 6 large duck legs
  • 18 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 750ml red wine (standard bottle size)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 litre ( pints) chicken stock
  • 250g (9oz) polenta grains, sieved to remove lumps
  • 300g (11oz) duck livers, cleaned of sinew or fat and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Method

Set the oven at 170°C/340°F/Gas 3—4. Take a baking dish that’s just large enough to hold the duck legs and the next seven ingredients. Put these in the dish and lay the legs on top. Season lightly and cover with foil, making a tight seal. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 2 hours. Check after an hour that the dish hasn’t dried out; if it has, add some boiling water. When the 2 hours are up, take the foil off and remove everything from the dish except the legs. Return these to the oven for 10 minutes to brown.

Meanwhile, put the stock into a large 3 litre (5 pint) pot and bring it to a medium boil before slowly pouring in the polenta. Whisk firmly as you do this to avoid lumps. When all the polenta has been mixed in remove the whisk and stir in the livers and the ingredients from the roasting dish. Continue stirring over medium heat for 2 minutes and check for seasoning. At the last moment mix in the parsley. Serve the duck leg on a great dollop of polenta and with a finger bowl to the side to enjoy this meal to the full.