Crispy Duck Legs

When I shared my pictures and opinions of this recipe in the Kitchn’s Cookbook Club Facebook group, my post started with, “Yall. Run and get some duck legs, so you can make the Crispy Duck Legs!” And now I’m telling anyone who reads this post the same! These are SO good. Honestly, I never thought we’d be able to achieve this combination of juicy meat and super-crispy skin at home. Duck is an intimidating ingredient to me, but we were definitely rewarded for our attempt today!

This month’s selection for the Cookbook Club is The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, by Sean Sherman. This recipe typifies a lot of the recipes in there – simple, uncomplicated recipes with only a few ingredients native to the United States. We followed his instructions for the cooking technique exactly and were rewarded with the most delicious, crispy-skinned duck legs! We increased the amount of spices on the duck, but otherwise kept the ingredients the same as well. The hands-on time for this recipe is pretty minimal, though you do have to plan ahead to let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Crispy Duck Legs

(Adapted from The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen, by Sean Sherman)
Ingredients: 
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp crushed juniper berries
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground sumac
  • 2 large duck legs
Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the seasonings. Sprinkle all over the duck legs. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Place the duck legs, fat/skin side down in a cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe pan). Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the fat has started to render.
  4. Turn the legs over in the pan and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 2 hours.
  5. Remove the foil and continue to roast in the oven for another 1 hour.
  6. Serve over-top a grain. (And save the rendered fat for cooking later!)
Serving Size: 2

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