Forget duck a l’orange, this recipe for duck with cider apple sauce and an apple confit is delicious during the winter months and even on a cold April day in the UK. Duck meat can very easily become dry, so by cooking gently in an apple and cider sauce ensures the meat stays as moist as possible. Further fat renders from the duck throughout the cooking process, adding even more flavour to the sauce.
This recipe is made in two parts: the duck with cider and apple sauce, and the apple confit. The latter can be made in advance and re-heated just before serving if needed. The recipe serves 2, served with steamed potatoes.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 2 legs of duck
- 275ml dry cider
- 25g butter
- 1 large onion
- 1 Bramley apple
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche
- 2 tbsp Calvados (optional)
- For the confit
- 1 apple (e.g. Cox, Braeburn)
- 2 shallots
- 150ml dry cider
- 25 cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- Core the apple and slice into eighths, peel the shallots and cut into quarters from the root. Add to a medium-sized saucepan with all the other confit ingredients.
- Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to a simmer, with the lid on until almost all of the liquid has disappeared.
- If made in advance, re-heat just before serving the duck.
To make the duck
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a heavy based saucepan, over a medium-high heat. Add the duck legs and fry on either side for 5 – 10 minutes until brown and crisp.
- While the duck is cooking finely chop the onion; and peel, core and dice the Bramley apple.
- Remove the duck legs from the pan, reserving the duck fat which will have rendered. Add the butter, once foaming add the onions and fry for 5 minutes on a low heat until softened.
- Then add the Bramley apple and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cider and bring everything up to a gentle simmer.
- Nestle the duck back into the pan between the onion and apple pieces. Burry the Bay leaves and sprigs of thyme amongst the duck. Pop on a lid and cook gently on the lowest heat possible for an hour.
- Remove the duck legs from the pan and wrap in foil to keep warm, and discard the spent bay and thyme sprigs. Then, using the back of a ladle, push the remaining contents of the pan through a sieve, return to the pan and leave to reduce slightly. Add the creme fraiche and Calvados if using. Check for seasoning then serve with the duck and confit.