Dark nights have one advantage as far as we're concerned. That is, the perfect excuse for drawing the curtains, lighting the candles, and preparing an intimate dinner for two.
2 duck legs
Small sprig thyme
1 garlic clove
2 small baking potatoes (cleaned and wrapped in foil)
125 g tender stem broccoli
125g green beans
Handful fresh chives
200ml good red wine
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
500ml chicken stock or 1/2 stock cube mixed with 500ml hot water
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
A knob of butter
2 sprigs fresh redcurrants (for garnish)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Pre heat oven to 160°c.
2. Dry the duck leg with absorbent paper. Season well and sear the duck legs on both sides in a hot frying pan with no oil, until browned. Leave the legs skin side down and add a dash of oil to the pan along with a sprig of thyme and a clove of garlic.
3. Cover the pan with tin foil and place in the oven (if your pan is not all metal then transfer to a baking tray and do the same). Place the potatoes in the oven at the same time. Check both the duck and potatoes after 45 minutes for tenderness and adjust cooking time accordingly.
4. While the duck is cooking prepare the jus and vegetables. Place the red wine, redcurrant jelly and balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and reduce until it starts to get sticky and dark. Add in the chicken stock and reduce by 2/3. Whisk in a knob of butter and then take off heat. Blanche the vegetables in salted boiling water, drain them and set aside.
5. When the potatoes are ready, slice off the top of each potato and scoop out the filling with a teaspoon and into a bowl. Mix the potato with the chives, 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Place the potato back into the 'jacket'
6. When you are ready to serve place the potato back into the oven for 5 minutes and quickly reheat the jus and the vegetables. Divide everything onto 2 plates and garnish with the fresh redcurrants. It's time to be seductive!
Gressingham has lots of recipes along with “how-to” videos on their website www.gressinghamduck.co.uk