4 whole duck legs (legs and thighs together)
2 teaspoons ground allspice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock, divided
1/2 pound thick cut bacon, cut into 1-inch x 1/4-inch lengths
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, crumbled
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, cut into 1/2 - inch dice
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 - inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2 - pieces
1 1/2 cups dry cannellini beans or 1 – 15 ounce can cooked beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish
1 – 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water for a slurry (to thicken sauce, if necessary)
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
• A night ahead, soak the beans in a stockpot covered with a liberal amount of water for 10 – 12 hours. The next day, place the soaked beans over medium-high heat. Add enough water to cover by 3 to 4 inches. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until the beans are cooked to a preferred doneness. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (do not drain).
• Place the duck legs in a bowl, and season with the kosher salt, pepper and allspice. In a braising pan or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the duck legs, skin-side down in a single layer. Reduce the heat to medium, and sear for 4 – 5 minutes until well-browned. Turn the duck and brown the other side, another 3 – 4 minutes. Add enough stock to cover duck legs; cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until all the fat has been rendered and the meat is pulling away from the bones, 20 - 30 minutes. Remove the duck to a plate and remove the broth from the pan and set aside. While the duck is cooking, in a separate skillet, brown the bacon, until crisp, but still tender. Remove the fat from the pan and reserve. Repeat with the sausage. Drain the sausage, removing the rendered fat and set aside.
• Return to the Dutch oven. Increase heat to medium-high and add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat. Add the onions and bay leaves, and sauté for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze, scraping all bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
• For the duck legs, remove the skin (and discard), and remove the meat from the legs into bite-sized pieces. Place the duck bones back to the pan. Add the carrots, celery, reserved and remaining chicken broth, and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
• Remove the duck bones and bay leaves. Add the duck pieces, bacon, sausage, beans, and chopped parsley, and cover to warm through, about 5 minutes. Check consistency and whisk in the slurry, if necessary. Taste the broth, and adjust seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as necessary. Serve topped with the bread crumbs and garnished with minced parsley.
Serves 4 - 6
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CHEF CHARLIE'S BLOG
Chef Charlie is a Bay Area chef, culinary food educator, lifestyle coach, food enthusiast and culinary travel guide, who is fascinated by the interplay of food and culture.