This month the French Winophiles group didn't a have a set theme for their virtual gathering. Since we had looked at Springtime in Paris and Summer in Provençe, I tossed out the theme of Fall Around France.
On such short notice, here's the line-up of the dedicated #Winophiles and their offerings...
Braised Duck Legs
And in preparation for the season, I decided to braise some duck legs. This requires a little bit of active time, then it goes in the oven, and you don't have to think about it again for over an hour. And that crispy duck skin is amazing!
2 duck legs
1 Tablespoon butter
splash of olive oil
carrots, halved and chopped into 4-inch lengths
celery, chopped into 4-inch lengths
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon Herbes de Provençe seasoning
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. In a Dutch oven, braiser, or other heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, melt butter in a splash of olive oil. Place duck legs skin side down. Sprinkle 1/2 your spice blend on the duck. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until the fat is rendered and the skin golden and crisped. Flip to the other side and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the rest of the spice blend on the second side of the duck.
Remove the duck to a plate. Place the carrots and celery in the pot. Lay the browned duck pieces on top. Pour in the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven. Braise for 75 minutes.
Raise the temperature of the oven to 450 degrees F. Smear the duck with mustard and spoon some of the duck fat over the top. Return the duck to the oven, uncovered. Roast for another 10 to 15 minutes.
The skin should be crispy and a deep mahogany brown. Serve immediately with some of the vegetables. I served these on top of French green lentils.
If you are curious how to serve white wine during the Fall, I have an easy answer...
Pick a white wine that has been aged on the lees to match Fall dishes!
I can't wait to be inspired by all of the Fall flavors of France this weekend. Stay tuned.