Braised Duck with Figs & Port
To store any leftover duck, remove the meat from the bones, discarding the skin. Shred the meat and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, reheat the meat in the sauce and serve over wide egg noodles or panfried potatoes for a quick and easy main dish.
- 6 duck legs, about 4 lb. total
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup port wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs
- 3/4 lb. dried figs
Brown the duck
Season the duck legs on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Push the onion and garlic to the side of the pan and place the duck legs, skin side down, in the center. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn the legs over and cook until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes. Transfer the duck legs, skin side up, to the slow cooker.
Cook the duck
Return the fry pan with the onion and garlic to medium-high heat. Pour in the port and broth and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the pan bottom. Bring to a boil, then pour into the slow cooker. Add the thyme sprigs and figs. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 3 1/2 hours or the low-heat setting for 7 hours.
Finish the dish
Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Transfer the duck legs to a platter and let them sit, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for about 10 minutes. Skim off and discard most of the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Season the liquid with salt and pepper. Divide the duck among 6 plates, spoon the juices and figs on top and serve. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Slow Cooker, by Norman Kolpas (Oxmoor House, 2007).