Food by Mom -- Duck legs braised in Red Wine

We like duck a lot in our house and have found that frozen leg quarters serve us very well when we have a hankering -- isn't that a great word? -- for duck. And we did today. I like this preparation for its intense flavor and easy preparation. The recipe is adapted from one at

  • 2 large whole duck legs (about 4 1/2 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  •  dried sour cherries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pitted prunes, raisins, cranberries

Pierce the skin of the duck in several places. In a large heavy saucepan, over moderately high heat, brown the duck first skin side down until they are almost mahogany colored -- about 15-20 minutes. Turn and brown the other side -- 3 or so minutes.



Remove duck from pan and carefully pour off the rendered duck fat. We use it to roast potatoes that we serve with the meal.

Return pan to heat and add onion, garlic and thyme to pan and stir. Add salt to taste. Add wine to pan and deglaze scraping up any bits in the bottom. Return duck to pan, skin side up. Add fruit. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pan. Simmer on low for 2 hours.

Remove duck from pan. Reduce liquid in pan until it has thickened somewhat. Serve over duck.

Tonight we used cranberries and blueberries from our freezer as our fruit.


This is a wonderful winter dish. It would work well with chicken legs also, but duck really is special.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2007. All  rights reserved.