This majestic duck confit recipe from Andy Waters creates a stunning restaurant-style meal in the comfort of your own home. The duck legs are slowly-cooked with star anise and cinnamon, resulting in wonderfully-flavoured meat that is well-complemented with the braised red cabbage, caramelised Granny Smith apples and savoury green peppercorn sauce.
Andy Waters helped put the Midlands on the gastronomic map when he won a Michelin star in 2003 for Edmunds. The award came within six months of opening and the restaurant went on to be named restaurant of the year by Harden's Guide.
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Start this recipe with the duck leg confit. Pre-heat the oven to 140˚C/gas mark 1. Remove the knuckle off the end of the drumstick and combine with the onion, carrot, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, rosemary and a generous season of salt and pepper
4 duck legs
2 large onions
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
3 star anise
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Add enough duck fat to cover the contents of the baking tray and cover with foil. Place into the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Remove and allow to cool in the fat, being sure to remove from the fat while still slight warm
For the braised red cabbage, combine the vinegar and sugar in large pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce until is resembles a thin syrup consistency before adding the cabbage and onion. Sweat for 15 minutes
1 red cabbage
125ml of red wine vinegar
100g of brown sugar
1 large onion
Cover the cabbage with the red wine, adding the juniper berries, peppercorns and sage. Cook on low heat until the red wine has reduced down to a syrup and the cabbage is soft and tender. Season to taste with salt and set aside until required
750ml of red wine
1 tsp green peppercorns
1 tsp juniper berries
1 sprig of sage
For the duck sauce, place the beef stock and rosemary in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce to the simmer and reduce to 375ml. Add the ground peppercorns and enough cream to give a strong coffee colour to the finish. Season to taste and set aside until required
500ml of beef stock
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp green peppercorns
100ml of cream
For the caramelised apples, add enough clarified butter to generously coat the base of a large frying pan. Place the pan on a medium heat and allow it come to temperature
1 knob of clarified butter
Add the apples to the pan and toss gently until you have an even golden brown colour all over. Add the apple juice in small amounts and reduce, tossing the apples as you go. Repeat until all the juice has been used and the apples have nice glaze. Remove from the pan onto a small oven tray
500ml of apple juice
2 Granny Smith apples
To serve the duck, heat the grill and place the leg under the heat, skin side up until crispy. Meanwhile, heat the cabbage, sauce, and apples and when hot divide the cabbage between 4 plates. Place the duck on top, the apples and around and drizzle with sauce
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