Just Ducky, Part VI: Roasted Duck Legs, Cauliflower and Plum

Just got to love a duck.

Just got to love going back and looking at old drafts, and discovering posts that were completed but were never… posted.  This one is a few years old.  So, no summary above the recipe about timing or such.  And an older format for posting.  But if you enjoy duck… enjoy!

Roast Duck Legs and Cauliflower

Duck legs nestled on a bed of purple cauliflower

After trying with a kitchen knife to dismember this bird (neck removal for the future soup or stock — haven’t decided yet but am leaning towards soup…), and finally succeeding, I succumbed to kitchen tool lust, and bought myself kitchen shears.  I may be downsizing a lot of my belongings, but I’m not including the kitchen in on this.  Kitchen shears for poultry are SOOOOO worth it!  A good knife is fine for chicken, but duck seems to require the extra mile.

The neck, upper torso, wings and the heart are in the freezer awaiting said future soup or stock.  I used the shears to help me break off the lower part of the bird — and separate the two legs from that lower section of back that contains The Part That Went Over the Fence Last.  All three of these parts were used in the below recipe.  But they cook faster if separated.

I’m going to be diving into my Indian seasonings for this recipe, although I don’t think duck is really a part of Indian cuisine, at least naturally.  Fusion foods…   Gotta love ’em!

Cauliflower first:


THIS feller stayed purple. Unlike my kohlrabi from earlier that week.

Yep, I found a nice purple cauliflower.  For a change, the vibrantly-colored cauliflowers cost the same amount as the white, so I grabbed purple.  (I’ve seen orange and I’ve seen green.  I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain… oops….)

I’d normally roast veggies at 425 F, but 1) the duck is going to cook at a lower temp, and 2) it is already way way way too hot in here.  At 425, the cauliflower should take 40-45 minutes to roast.  It will take longer with the lower temp.

Cauliflower Portion:

1 cauliflower, de-stemmed, de-leafed, broken up.
1 tablespoon coconut oil (you can sub in extra virgin olive oil should you wish)
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
optional rosemary sprigs (I wanted them, but discovered I was out.  Not worth a grocery run.  But I miss them.)
Salt and pepper to taste.  Pink Himalayan salt to match my cauliflower…

Mix all of the above together by hand, and set into a 325 degree F oven.  Roast for about an hour or 65 minutes.  Time in the duck, below, accordingly.

The Duck Portion:

One thing about duck is that the breast and the legs/back cook differently.  This is true of other poultry but in the duck I prefer to pander to those needs, and will cook them separately.  I am, however, sparing you the reading of separate recipes for each duck leg… it’s a time my life gets a move on.  I’m cooking them together, along with that bit of back.

2 Duck legs
1 Lower back (if you’ve gotten a whole duck and separated out parts.   Otherwise, don’t worry)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 of the juice from a large lemon
2-3 ripe plums (depending on size), chopped and pitted

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Score the skin so that fat drips out as the meat cooks.  Place in baking pan (not the same one with the cauliflower — we are not interested in having the veggie soak in the fat,  thank you), skin side up.

Add all the spices and seasonings, and then the lemon juice over the top (which should help the skin to brown, as there are natural sugars in there).  Don’t add the plum…

Roast for 50 minutes.  At about the 40-45 minute mark, start simmering your plums in their own juice, in a small stovetop skillet. Add a little ground pepper, nothing else.  A lot of commercial outlets love adding sugar to things — plums are sweet enough on their own.  DON’T!!!

Plum Sauce

What’s good enough for the gander…

Remove duck from oven and let rest for five minutes (transfer pieces to a clean plate so they don’t soak in their own fat.  They will probably drizzle out more, here.  If your bird is a good quality free range bird, reserve the fat (you can freeze it).  If it is not, that’s where the pesticides lurk, in the fat).

Plate:  Put the cauliflower down and layer the duck over or next to the cauliflower, then drizzle the plum over the duck.  Enjoy.

I am doing this meal as three lunches for one person.  Eating the back section today (written Saturday) for lunch with some of the cauliflower, although the photo doesn’t depict the cauliflower there, and taking the legs to work for two separate lunches.  A general leafy-green salad would make a good side (in addition to the cauliflower, of course).  Actually. leftover cole slaw — see a neighboring recipe — is going to accompany the duck and cauliflower.

Roast Duck Back

I did eat this with some of the cauliflower. My immediate lunch that day.

If you are following along, this one duck, at 4 pounds something, has provided so far for meat for five meals plus one appetizer, for one person.  This isn’t counting the soup or stock, which I expect to go for two more meals, whenever it gets cool and dry enough to get about the work of making the soup.  Or the stock.

This post is hanging out at Fiesta Friday, where it will extend Friday into a week-long occurrence.  Drop on by!  Indeed, later this week you can vote for your fave recipes there.

Also hanging out at What’s for Dinner, #158, where yet more recipes are around to titillate your fancy, and kick your (duck) legs up over.  Drop on by!


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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5 Responses to Just Ducky, Part VI: Roasted Duck Legs, Cauliflower and Plum

  1. just looking at the pics is making me GREEDY !!

  2. Carol says:

    I want that so badly!

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