Serves: 4 - Time:
This dish has spring written all over it, the vibrant colours reflecting the glorious greens that surround us at this time of year. While the duck takes a while to cook-about 1 ½ hours- you don’t have to stand around keeping watch. I’m afraid I have specified peeled broad beans; that is to say they have been podded and the outer waxy skins peeled off. It is a really dull job but it makes such a difference- one just has to take a deep breath and get peeling. If you’ve got children bribery works, and little fingers are quite adept at pinching off the tough skin.
- 1 kg broad bean pods
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
- 4 duck legs
- 3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons plain flour
- 100ml dry vermouth
- 550ml chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint.
- Pod the beans, you should have about 330g, then peel off the tough outer skins. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the beans. Bring back to the boil and cook the beans for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water to retain the beans’ colour. Set aside.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and boil the asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside with the beans.
- Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan and add the duck legs skin-side down. Brown for about 8-10 minutes. Turn the duck legs over and brown the underside for about 5 minutes. Lift out of the pan and set aside.
- Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered duck fat and add the shallots and garlic. Stir over a low to moderate heat for about 10 minutes until the shallots are soft but not coloured.
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the vermouth and leave to thicken, stirring continuously. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Return the duck to the sauce and season with a little salt and ground black pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Stir in the vegetables and mint and heat through for 10 minutes. Serve with new potatoes and baby carrots.