The trick to this recipe is time—spent doing something else. The slaw is easy: Just run all the vegetables through a food processor or a mandoline for thin discs of celery root, beet, carrot, and fennel, then leave them to mingle and marry in an apple cider vinegar vinaigrette. The duck gets put into a low oven for two hours with next to no interference. Two hours later, come back, and you have salty, crispy duck and crunchy, deeply vegetal, and bright slaw.
Note: All vegetables can be sliced on a mandoline or a food processer fitted with a thin slicing blade.
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- Yield:serves 6
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:2 hours and 20 minutes
- 6 duck legs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 2 cups thinly sliced fennel (about 1 medium bulb)
- 2 cups thinly sliced celery root (about 1 medium root)
- 2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 1 large carrot)
- 2 cups thinly sliced beet (about 1 medium beet)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 3 medium)
- 1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 300°F. Pat duck legs dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Set skin-side down in a wide, oven-safe non-stick or cast iron skillet. Set over medium heat and cook until the skin is golden brown and begins to crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 1 hour, then flip the duck legs, and roast for another hour.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, thyme leaves, and honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add fennel, celery root, carrot, beets, shallots, and parsley to the bowl and toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until duck is cooked.
To serve, mound the softened vegetable salad on a plate, and top with a duck leg.