Confit duck leg with penne, spinach and tomato

  • medium
  • 6
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
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This sublime duck pasta bake recipe sees confit duck legs flaked into moist little morsels before combining with a heady mix of spinach, mushroom and marsala wine sauce, oven-dried tomatoes and penne pasta. The dish is then baked in the oven for a wonderful next-level comfort food dish.

First published in 2016




Confit duck legs


Oven-baked tomatoes


Penne pasta

  • 600g of penne pasta
  • salt

Sautéed spinach with spring onions (pousse epinard)


To begin, mix all of the marinade ingredients together and rub all over the duck legs. Place in a dish, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate overnight, or for at least 6 hours
Preheat the oven to 120°C/gas mark 1/2
To prepare the tomatoes, mix all of the ingredients together, then spread them evenly over a large baking tray
Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 1 hour, by which time the moisture will have evaporated and the tomatoes will have started to dry out a little and intensify in colour. Set aside until ready to prepare the pasta bake
After the legs have finished curing, remove from the marinade and carefully dry off with kitchen paper
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
Heat a dry frying pan until hot, press the duck legs into it skin-side down. Fry until the skin is well coloured, then turn the legs over and quickly brown the other side
Place the browned duck legs in a roasting tin large enough to hold them in one layer. Cover completely with the duck or goose fat – it is essential that the legs are fully submerged in the fat
Bring the fat to trembling point on the hob, cover with foil and very carefully place into the preheated oven
Slowly cook the duck legs for about 2 hours until tender. You can test this by carefully lifting one out with a slotted spoon – the meat should easily start to fall away when you press it
When the legs are cooked, leave to cool in the fat for 20–30 minutes and very carefully remove and set on a trivet or wire rack in a roasting tin to drain. As soon as the duck legs are cool enough to handle, ‘pull’ the meat from the bone and set aside somewhere warm
Strain the cooled duck fat through a fine sieve and keep for another dish; it is especially good for roasting potatoes or making more confit
To make the sauce, reduce the chicken stock by half before stirring in the cream and Marsala. Set aside
  • 1 dash of Marsala wine
  • 2 tbsp of double cream
  • 500ml of dark chicken stock, as needed
When ready to serve the dish, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil, add the penne and cook for a few minutes less than is indicated on the box – it will finish cooking in the oven. Drain thoroughly
  • salt
  • 600g of penne pasta
Meanwhile, finish the sauce. Heat a frying pan over a high heat, add a splash of rapeseed oil and add the mushrooms. Very quickly fry and add these to the sauce, making sure everything is heated right through. Add the chopped tarragon and check the seasoning
To make the spinach, heat the saucepan until very hot and add the butter, it should foam immediately. At this point, add the spring onions, then the spinach, and season well. Treat the spinach as if you were stir-frying it and cook until it just starts to wilt. Remove from the heat and serve immediately
Spread the sautéed spinach over the base of a suitable large serving dish. Combine the ‘pulled’ duck meat with the cooked pasta and the sauce and spread over the top of the spinach
Dot the tomatoes over the pasta and place in the preheated oven, cooking until everything is heated right through. Serve immediately
First published in 2016

There can't be many Michelin-starred chefs who started out selling homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves on a market stall in Rye in 1979. Yet, the quietly spoken, endearingly eccentric Galton Blackiston isn't like other chefs.

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