This is a classic French dish that we have speeded up without losing any of the flavor. It is the basis of a Cassoulet and also can be adapted to make Chinese duck pancakes by switching the French herbs for Chinese spices. The goose fat may be expensive but it can be reused and reused, just strain and store in the fridge or freezer until required again.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 Duck Legs, with the Achilles tendon cut & the thigh bone removed (leave the shin bone in)
Duck or Goose fat to cover
4 Sprigs of Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
Table Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Make sure the Achilles tendon is cut right through at the ankle so that the meat can shrink down, leaving a pretty bone for presentation. Once the thigh bone is removed, wrap the skin and meat around so that it is in a nice round.
Lay out in a deep roasting tray and chop the thyme over the legs. Sprinkle liberally with salt (much more than you think you need; it is part of the preserving process) and pepper. Cover with the fat and push in the bay leaves then put in a low oven 160c for 2 hours until the meat is soft and the bone is revealed.
Allow to cool and store covered in the fat until required, when the legs can be removed and sprinkled with a few breadcrumbs and roasted in the oven until golden and piping hot.