Slow-braised duck legs

Slow-braised duck legs

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  • 8
  • Easy
  • Dairy free
  • 30 minutes, plus overnight soaking time
  • 3 hours

"A small nod to the traditional overnight cholent (slow-cooked stew), usually made with beans and brisket. I love duck – it’s lighter than brisket – but kept the beans." – Phillippa Cheifitz


  • 500 g dried white kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few peppercorns
  • 8 duck legs
  • 2 T olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 T brandy
  • ½ cup sweet Kiddush wine
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 10 g parsley, finely chopped, for sprinkling (optional)

Cooking Instructions

1. Drain the soaked beans and place in a large saucepan. Cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 5–10 minutes, then reduce the heat. Skim the surface and stir in 1 bay leaf and the peppercorns. Cover and simmer, adding more boiling water if necessary. Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking. Check for tenderness after 45 minutes. There’s no need to salt if adding to the casserole.

2. In a heavy, suitably sized casserole, brown the duck legs skin-side first in 2 T olive oil in two batches if necessary. Remove from the pan and season.

3. Pour about half the fat from the casserole. Stir in the onions and cook gently until softened and pale golden. Pour in the brandy and wine and simmer briskly, stirring, for a few minutes, then pour in the stock.

4. Return the duck legs to the casserole and bring to a simmer. Cover tightly. Bake at 160°C for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the drained beans, garlic and remaining bay leaf. Cover again and return to the oven. Bake for a further hour, or until the duck is tender. If necessary, add a little more stock. Remove the garlic and squeeze into the casserole. Check the seasoning.

5. To serve, turn the beans and duck onto a large platter. If you like, sprinkle with parsley. Follow with salad or serve it on the side.

Find more duck recipes here.

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production:  Phillippa Cheifitz
Food assistant: Kate Ferreira





Phillippa Cheifitz Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz
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Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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