I know duck is very expensive but if you’re sick of serving the same boring dishes this winter, this soup is definitely for you. I usually serve this dish as a main course as it is very filling. I love placing a piece of bread at the bottom of the soup bowl, I find it adds an extra depth of flavour and texture to the meal.
4 Confit Duck Legs at room temperature
½ a pack of smoked bacon, diced
1 tbsp whole peppercorns
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
1/2 a head of green cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
5 cups chicken stock
8 cups water
1/3 cup Cognac
For the garnish:
1 punnet micro herbs
1 loaf of seeded rye bread
Preparation 30 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours
Remove skin and bones from duck legs, reserving both, then coarsely shred meat.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook reserved bones, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Then add the peppercorns, cabbage and bacon, fry for 5 minutes.
Add the stock and water and simmer for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, thinly slice reserved skin, then lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook in a dry medium nonstick frying pan over low heat, stirring to separate, until fat is rendered and skin is crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.
Once the soup has been cooking for 50 minutes, discard the bay leaves, bones, and thyme from soup. Add the duck meat, 2 tbsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and turn the heat right down.
Heat cognac in a small saucepan over low heat just until warm, then ignite; be careful the flames will shoot up. When the flames subside, stir Cognac into the soup.
To serve, place a slice a rye bread at the bottom of each soup dish, spoon over the soup, top with crispy skin, micro herbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
If you are drinking red wine with your meal, I’d suggest when your soup is half eaten pour a bit of red wine into the soup, it sounds weird but it adds an extra depth of flavour.