Tender duck or chicken legs in the most delicious ragu sauce made with lots of vegetables and served with dumplings or noodles
These duck legs were great. And even better than the meat was the sauce. That was amazing! Velvety, savory with a slight sweet note, I could have just eaten it with a spoon. In fact, there was some leftover sauce the next day, so I just cooked some noodles and we ate it like that: noodles with just ragu sauce. And a salad.
I only had two small duck legs and I thought that won’t be enough for all of us, so I used two additional chicken legs as well. I could have taken another two for all that matters, because the children just couldn’t stop eating. Both of them! I couldn’t believe it, one meal where no one NO ONE had anything to nag about. Normally it’s like :“IIII! Sauce? I don’t like sauce!“ or „I only eat the rice with some butter“ or „I’ll try it but if I don’t like it, I don’t eat it!“ (and then he tries like a crumb or a droplet of something and says he doesn’t like it) or my favorite: after stressing me out while I am cooking because they are soooooooooo hungry, they just take one look at the food and say: „I’m not hungry!“. I could just go bananas and I normally do.
But this time no comments, no complaints, they just ate everything (well, everything except the beans, one shouldn’t overdue it!) on their plate and they asked for more. BOTH OF THEM! And the next day, they were so happy about the noodles and the sauce!
If you don’t like duck, just use chicken legs instead, they taste amazing in this sauce as well, and they even get a bit more tender than the duck.
And as a bonus: don’t throw away the leftover bones, you could make a wonderful stock with them. I normally just clean them a bit and freeze them until I have a good batch. Then I slowly cook them together with some fresh chicken parts, onions, carrots, root parsley, celeriac, salt, spices and water for several hours, at least 3-4 and up to 24 to get a really delicious and healthy bone broth. I put the broth in jars and freeze it.
- 2 whole duck legs
- 2 whole chicken legs (you can use only one type of meat if you like)
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 medium root parsley
- ½ small celeriac
- (all the vegetables together should weigh about 250-300 g/9-10.5 oz)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 100 ml/3.5 oz/ a bit more than ⅓ cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 25g/ 2 scant tablespoons flour
- 25g/2 scant tablespoons sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius/360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Chop the vegetables and the onion very finely or grate them. Heat the oil and cook them for about 2 minutes. Add the meat and let it get a bit yellow, turning once or twice in the meantime. Add enough hot water to cover the vegetables but not the meat (about 1 ½ to 2 cups, depending on how wide your pan is) and 1 scant teaspoon salt. Cover the pan, put it in the oven and leave it there until the meat gets soft, about 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on your oven. Turn and baste the meat with the sauce a couple of times in between.
- Take out of the oven, put the meat on a plate and blend the vegetables in the pan. Return the meat to the pan, add the bay leaf and pepper. Mix the flour, the wine and the tomato paste very thoroughly so that you don't have any clumps and add that to the pan as well.
- Let the sugar caramelize in a small non-stick pan, it should get brown. Add 2-3 tablespoons water and stir until the sugar melts completely. Add that to the pan. Add some more hot water if the sauce is too thick or not enough to cover the lower side of the meat. Return to the oven and leave it there for another 10-15 minutes, this time uncovered. Adjust the taste with salt and lemon juice and garnish with some parsley.
- Serve hot with dumplings or noodles and green beans.