I’ve been neglecting the ducks and I know they’ve felt it. I don’t know what happened to me but could it be that I’ve been in a sort of “dip” since I returned from the U.S.? It feels as if my enthusiasm has flagged and there’s no excuse for that! All of this beautiful food and wine! What’s wrong with me ??!! Could it be shell shock trauma from my 8 months in the States? That’s it! I’m not going back :D
When we were living in Bangladesh, as I’ve told you, we had this driver called Gasuddin. One day he drove me and a friend to town for shopping. My friend needed to run into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription while I waited in the car with Gasuddin. In cases like this, he always liked to stand outside the car on guard or something whenever we stopped. After a while, I noticed a kind of rhythmic, gentle thumping on the side of the car. This continued for about 10 minutes and when I looked out of window, Gasuddin had a little boy of maybe 9 years old by the scruff of the neck, continuously thumping the boy’s head against the side of the car.
Me: What are you doing?
Gasuddin: This little street kid was thinking about scratching the car.
Me: Stop that.
There was a definite mean streak in Gasuddin, although he was always charming to me. However, no matter his small, skinny stature, I believe other Bangladeshis would look at him and see Hell Boy or something. They were afraid of him in the market and he could clear an aisle for me to walk through in an instant! I wonder what he’s doing today? Probably in jail :D
Anyway, the duck. I got these lovely duck legs from Jean Louis. They are farm raised and can’t be compared to the duck you find in the supermarkets.
I decided to go for the ole herbs, a lot of garlic and duck in tajine with tiny French onions. Easy and satisfying.
In the meantime while the duck was in the oven, I opened up a really good can of sardines, added some expiring cherry tomatoes and mache for an appetizing entree.
Duck Legs with Garlic
4 duck legs
5 spice powder
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh pearl onions, blanched and peeled
1 really large head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
Handful of random fresh herbs (bay leaves, thyme, oregano)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp water
Sprinkle the duck with salt, pepper and 5 spice, then rub in. Brown the duck in a stove top to oven pan (tajine), then set aside.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of accumulated fat from the pan, then add the onions and garlic, briefly browning. Sprinkle the herbs on top of the onions and garlic, then top with the legs, skin side up. Pour the wine over all.
Put the top on the pan, then place in a 375 F oven for 1 hour. Remove the top, add the water to the pan and continue to roast for 30 minutes.