recipes for healthy living

Tag: duck

Love at first sight

The proof of Love at first sight arrived last week. In to our family was born a beautiful little baby, briefly here but sadly now Gone. Not my beautiful baby so I am not going to write too much except to say that no matter the knowledge that this would be the only outcome it doesn’t make loss any easier and no matter the short life lived the impact has been enormous in our family and the most especially for Holly’s parents.

And so I have been doing the only thing I know how, which is feeding the ones closest to me…

Duck Raghu with Pan Fried Gnocchi

Duck Raghu V 2

Heart Warming Duck Raghu with Pan fried Gnocchi

There are a few steps to this recipe but it is worth it. Intensely flavourful, comforting heart warming winter meal. I roasted a duck the night before I wanted this dish and drained off the duck fat as it cooked which is now in the fridge for roasties. I use store bought gnocchi which after I cooked, I fried off for lovely crispy potato dumplings to accompany the raghu. This can be cooked and reheated the next day when it will be even better as it has time for all the flavors to develop.

1 Duck (If you are in Ireland, I love the range from http://www.Silverhillfarm.ie)
1 stick of celery washed and diced very small
2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1 medium white onion peeled chopped and diced
3 carrots washed, peeled and diced very small
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml each tomato puree and water or veg stock
3 tbsp tomato passata
1 tsp fennel seeds roasted and crushed
1/2 bottle wine
3 tbsp rape seed oil
salt and pepper

To serve
Grated parmesan
Crispy Duck skin

Roast the duck for about 2 hours
Peel some of the crispy skin off and reserve (If it isnt crispy enough put it back in the oven after you have cooked the duck and it will crisp up further). Remove all the meat from the bones and set aside to use in the raghu.

Heat 3 tbsp rape seed oil, add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery, stir to cover with oil, season well, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until well cooked and sort
Add the passata and fennel seeds and cook for about 5 minutes
Turn up the heat, add the red wine, tin tomatoes, passata and water, briefly bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook low and slow until you have a delicious sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning including a teaspoon of sugar if needed. Add the duck meat into the raghu and cook for a further 30 minutes or so until the meat and sauce are well incorporated.

To serve,
cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water, drain on kitchen paper then fry until golden brown in oil and butter. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Ladle the raghu into warmed bowls, stir in the gnocchi, top with some grated parmesan and some sprinkles of the crispy duck skin.

Duck Confit Risotto

OO&L Duck Risotto

A great way to use left over duck…. (does anyone even ever have left over duck? peel me a grape why don’t you)

If you are lucky to live in Ireland then seek out the confit duck legs from Irish producer Silverhills farms…delicious and great value. On the rare occasion I have any left over then I make this risotto. Really easy, winter warming and very tasty, A great family favourite on a winter day.

Serves 2-3
2 SilverHill Confit Duck Legs
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallot chopped finely
1 clove garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 cup arborio rice
1 small glass of white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp butter

Remove the meat from the duck legs, chop and place on an oven tray ready to put under a hot grill to crisp and warm.
Put the stock on to simmer.
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pan.
Add the shallot and garlic and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes without letting it colour.
Add the rice and toast for a minute or two, add the wine and sizzle to cook off the alcohol, and then add a big ladle of stock to the rice and stir till well absorbed.
Season well with Salt and pepper.
Continue adding the stock and stir well till absorbed and the rice is cooked(about 15-18 minutes) but taste to be sure.
Place the duck meat under a hot grill to crisp and warm.
Add the butter and stir well to melt and combine.
Taste and correct the seasoning.
Serve in warm bowls with topped with the duck meat and crispy skin.
Top with some balsamic glaze if you have it.

A Duck Dinner… Crispy Duck, Balsamic Lentils and Onion Puree

I think this is my husband’s absolute favourite dinner. He calls it his favourite paleo meal.I just love it because the flavours work really well together and it is a good meal for when friends come over as you can prepare everything in advance and just finish the duck 15 minutes before dinner needs to be served. Nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen when friends are over!. People love duck but often keep it for when the go out to dinner, believing it is hard to cook. This recipe is really easy if you buy your own.. I usually buy a load of duck legs and confit them and slow cook overnight. They then keep in the fridge under the fat for ages so it is really handy as they take so little time to cook after that. I love lentils too, I remember growing up we had potatoes every day, it just wasn’t dinner without them,so I consider lentils my spud substitute!

For the Crispy Duck
2 Cooked Duck Legs Confit Style – you can buy these in many good delicatessens or prepare your own, its straightforward, just takes a while. See here.
Duck fat for those reading in Ireland is available widely in shops; I usually buy on line at larousse foods when I need to stock up on some pantry essentials.

Turn oven on to 150C
Put a big frying pan on medium to high heat and add duck legs skin side down
Cook until the skin is browned and crisp – about 10 minutes
Transfer to a tray in the oven and bake until completely golden brown about 12-15 minutes.
Serve with the balsamic lentils and Onion Puree.

Balsamic Lentils Recipe from Neven Maguire
6oz cooked puy lentils (Just cook in water for 10/15 minutes according to your pack)
15ml balsamic vinegar
30ml Madeira
Pinch Dark brown sugar
10floz veal stock or other good rich meat stock

Heat a small pot and when it is hot, add in the balsamic vinegar and Madeira and let it bubble
Turn heat down to medium and reduce to half
Add stock and reduce by 1/3
Taste, add pinch of brown sugar if necessary
Add the cooked lentils and on a medium heat, heat until lentils are warm

Onion puree
This puree is really delicious, sweet and full of flavour, not just good with this duck but also with any poultry. Also great with a piece of beef.
5 medium onions sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1oz butter
100ml or milk or milk and cream combo

Heat the oil and butter together on medium heat and add the onions. Stir to coat the onions, season with salt and cook with the lid on until the onions are totally soft but with no colour. It is essential you do this on a low heat to ensure the onions don’t catch or start to colour.
When they are soft add the milk and/or cream and bring to the boil
Taste and season if needed
Blend and sieve through a medium sieve if still not smooth enough. (Dont use a very fine one or it will end up too liquidy!

Serve with the duck and lentils and enjoy….

Confit duck salad

I love Duck and this recipe includes loads of salads and green beans. It’s a great meal with healthy fats from the lovely dressing, protein and a good contribution towards your 5 a day. Most importantly it tastes really great and also makes a great first course if you are having some friends over for a bite to eat.

Salad with roasted Duck Legs

Serves 4

4 Confit legs – If you don’t prepare your own these are available in good delis and shops like M&S. (I prepare my own and include how to below).


Selection of different lettuces lambs lettuce, read oak leaf curly endive etc

2 oranges peeled, white removed and segmented

55g fine French beans blanched and refreshed

Lardons of bacon

Hazelnut Vinaigrette

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

4 tbsps olive oil

2 tbsp hazelnut oil

Pinch of salt and pepper and perhaps a pinch of sugar to taste


Reheat duck legs by placing on tray in oven for about 10-12 minutes to brown and crisp. Drain off any fat still coming from the legs. The duck legs should be heated through. Place under hot grill to crisp up the fat. Keep warm until ready to use.

Prepare the salad by cooking the beans in boiling salted water until just tender. If not using immediately, drain and put into iced water for a few seconds to stop the cooking and keep the beautiful colour. Reheat when using by putting into boiling water for few seconds.

Heat drop of sunflower oil in small plan and sauté the lardons until golden and crispy. Drain and keep warm.

Carefully break-up your lettuces into but size pieces and place in mixing bowl. Mix all the dressing ingredients for the vinaigrette into an airtight jar and give it a good shake.  Dress the salad leaves ensuring they are well coated. Shake the lardoons into the salad leaves and mix gently.

To assemble shred the meat off the duck legs and divide among the 4 places.

Place a mound of salad leaves and lardoons on top of the duck. Keep the mound high to look lovely.

Dress the place with some orange segments

Serve and Enjoy!

Confit Duck

You can use legs and breasts
Place duck pieces flesh side up into flat casserole dish.
Give them a good sprinkle of sea salt.
Add some crushed garlic cloves and thyme sprigs and cover with cling and set aside for a good few hours to marinate and add flavour.

Take pieces out of casserole and pat with kitchen roll to remove the salt and the water which will have come out of the duck.
Place all the pieces into a oven proof dish with a tight fitting lid.
Cover them with duck fat or a combination of cooking oil and duck fat.
Place on hob and bring up heat to bring to bubbling and melt the fat.
Remove and place into oven at about 130deg C for about 2 hours until the pieces are tender when pierced with a knife.

Keep them in the fridge under the fat until using.

When using, take one out of the fat, wipe the excess off and place into hot oven for 10-12 minutes to heat and crisp the skin. If the skin could be crisper place under grill for few minutes to crisp up.


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