Slow-cooked duck legs in Port with celeriac gratin

Slow-cooked duck legs in Port with celeriac gratin

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(14 ratings)

Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins Prep 15 mins + infusing

More effort

Serves 2

A cross between confit and a casserole, this slow-braised duck dish is served with a dauphinoise-like potato bake

Nutrition and extra info

  • duck only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal841
  • fat50g
  • saturates27g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre6g
  • protein39g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 2 duck legs
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 2 cloves



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • 2 strips orange skin (with a potato peeler)



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 150ml port
  • 500ml chicken stock

For the gratin

  • 100ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 garlic clove, squashed
  • 1 rosemary sprig



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 25g butter, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • ¼ small celeriac (about 100g), quartered and thinly sliced



    The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like…

  • 1 small potato, thinly sliced



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • grated parmesan, for sprinkling



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • seasonal vegetables, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the duck legs in a flameproof casserole set over a medium heat. Brown all over, then remove from the casserole and set aside. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the fat, leave more fat in the pan if you are doubling or tripling (save the drained fat for your Christmas roasties). Add the carrots and onion to the casserole and cook for 5-10 mins or until starting to caramelise. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 min more. Return the duck along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and put in the oven for 2 hrs.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the gratin. Put the milk, cream, garlic and rosemary in a pan set over a low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer for 5 mins, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 mins. Grease 2 ramekins (about 8cm diameter, 5cm deep). Arrange the celeriac and potato slices in the ramekins, seasoning the layers as you go. Remove the garlic and rosemary from the milk, pour over the veg, then dot with butter. Cover tightly with foil and bake with the duck for 1½ hrs.

  3. Once cooked, remove the duck and gratins from the oven. To freeze the duck, cool, then pack into a freezer container, pushing the duck under the sauce. If it doesn’t cover it, lay cling film on top. Use within 2 months. Thaw in the fridge, then reheat in the casserole and complete from Step 4. Increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put a heavy can on top of each foil-wrapped gratin and stand for 15-20 mins, or chill like this until needed. Once pressed, turn the gratins out onto a baking tray, sprinkle with a little Parmesan and bake for 20 mins until golden.

  4. Meanwhile, remove the duck legs from the casserole, strain the cooking liquid into a clean pan and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the sauce by half until thickened and glossy. Add the duck legs and heat through. Put a duck leg on each plate with a little sauce spooned over the top. Serve with the gratins and seasonal veg.

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Comments, questions and tips

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mrsliz's picture
1st Aug, 2019
Really loved this recipe! The port gravy was so good! I served it with plain potato dauphinoise, but I will make the celeriac version next time. This would be great for a dinner party or a special Christmas meal and I will be making it again.
9th Mar, 2018
Didn't make the gratin so can't comment. Cooked the duck legs in a slow cooker for about 6 hours. Reduced the sauce by reducing in a pan as using a slow cooker doesn't really thicken or reduce in cooking. Did add a small spoonful of red currant jelly to the sauce, also popped the duck into a hot oven to brown a little more whilst reducing the sauce. Result was absolutely delicious probably my favourite way to cook duck legs so far, duck was melt in the mouth.
7th Mar, 2016
Didn't have all of the sauce ingredients to hand so I improvised with some Chinese 5 spice and it still resulted in a lovely tasting sauce. The celeriac gratin was also delicious, highly recommend this
10th Aug, 2015
Can't comment on the gratin as made a more traditional dauphinoise instead but the duck and the sauce were superb
9th Aug, 2015
Just cooked this meal and have to agree with others that the gratin needs to be started first as it is a long process. Loved the duck and served it with broccoli and carrots. I'd eat it again.
17th Mar, 2014
So simple and absolutely delicious. I doubled the recipe for four people and it turned out perfectly. I didn't change a thing. Willl make again and again - great for entertaining. I actually made it the day before and reheated for my dinner party. Served with boulengere potatoes and green beans.
26th Jan, 2014
A wonderful recipe!! I cooked this using duck breasts but the remainder of the casserole was as detailed. As I had half a celeriac left over, I simply doubled the quantities for the gratin and put it in one dish. I served it with steamed green beans. I will make this again, perhaps when I want to make something for friends well in advance, as it is easy to double/triple quantities.
14th Feb, 2013
Made this tonight. Did as Sandy suggested and started with the gratin. Thought I could use creme fraiche instead of cream, but it didn't work! Lovely subtle flavour by infusing cream, milk, garlic and rosemary. Don't miss out this step. I didn't turn gratins out, just served in ramekins. Followed all ingredients for duck, only used half a star anise as not keen on the flavour, but overall the combination of flavours was amazing. Will make again for a dinner party and serve gratin in one larger dish.
8th Jan, 2013
Made this twice, it is delicious and so easy. The gravy is wonderful my family raved about it
7th Jan, 2013
Looks and tastes good, but recipe poorly organised. You need to start the gratin before the duck if the results are to coincide. OK for TV chefs who have somebody to chop/slice/infuse, etc.
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