Koren Grieveson’s use of duck legs in this hearty one-pot is inspired—they make the dish special without being difficult to prepare. Plus, the duck becomes meltingly tender as it braises, soaking up all of the rich flavors of the sauce.
Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the garlic is just starting to turn golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the figs, thyme, and star anise, and then stir in the squash. Arrange the duck legs skin side up on top of the vegetables and add enough chicken broth to cover the duck by about 1/2 inch, up to 8 cups—it’s fine if a few of the legs on top aren’t completely submerged. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook until fork tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let the duck rest in the juice for 15 to 30 minutes; then skim off and discard the fat from the surface of the sauce.
With a slotted spoon, distribute the vegetables among 6 plates or mound them on a platter. Top with the duck legs. Stir the vinegar into the sauce in the pot, and then drizzle the sauce over each serving, or serve the sauce on the side (you won’t need it all). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Steamed brown jasmine rice is the perfect accompaniment.
Save any leftover duck fat to make roasted potatoes or French fries.
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My husband jokes that he decided to marry me after I made this for him one Valentines' day. Pair with a peppery wine and have something chocolate for desert. This was the first thing I ever cooked with Star Anise and I wasn't disappointed.
I liked it but didn't love it. Was fine once, but not a keeper. I did read the previous reviews that the squash was overdone so I only put the squash in after it was half done and that worked out just fine: squash was done but not overdone .
Absolutely a delicious preparation for duck legs - company worthy. But I question adding the squash when the recipe directed. My squash came out way overcooked. Next time I will add the squash later or perhaps roast it basting it with some of the pan juices.
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