Red Wine Braised Duck Legs with Mushrooms & Shallots
Recipe type: Dinner, Entree, Main, Poultry
Cuisine: Winter
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
I served the duck legs over a celery root and potato puree, with roasted Brussels sprouts for a cozy winter dinner at home.
  • ¼ c. dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • 2 (about 1 ½ # total weight) Duck Legs
  • 3 large/8 small Shallots
  • 8 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, stems trimmed even with the caps
  • 1 c. Red Wine
  • about 1 ½ c. Chicken Stock (homemade or low-sodium)
  • 4 sprigs Thyme
  1. Place the dried porcini in a small bowl and cover with about ½. c. boiling water.
  2. Remove any excess fat from the duck legs and score the skin. You can either use a sharp knife to cut through the skin in a crosshatched manner as I did or prick it all over with the tip of a knife. Avoid cutting into the meat itself. Rub the duck with a bit of kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Sear the duck legs, skin-side down, in an ovenproof skillet (I used my 11-inch cast iron skillet) until the skin is dark and crisp, 10-12 minutes over medium-high heat. You can render the fat from any trimmings, as well. When the skin is nice and crisp, flip, and cook for 2 minutes on the meat side. Be very careful as you are doing this—the duck will throw off a lot of splattering, very hot fat. Transfer the duck legs to a plate and pour all of the fat except a very thin coating on the bottom of the pan into a heatproof jar. Keep the fat in the refrigerator for future use—it’s great for cooking potatoes!
  4. Preheat oven to 350°.
  5. Peel the shallots and trim the hairy root end but leave enough at the bottom so the bulbs will remain attached. If you’re working with large shallots (as I was), cut each 1 into 2 or 3 large pieces; if you have smaller shallots, just leave them whole. Pull the soaked porcini out of their soaking liquid (reserve the water), give them a squeeze and a rough chop.
  6. Return the skillet (the same one you used for the duck) to medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms until golden, about 8 minutes. Season. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Boil for a minute, scrapping up any bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return the duck legs to the pan, nestling them, skin-side up, among the mushrooms and shallots. Add the reserved porcini water, then enough stock to cover most of the meat, but leave the skin exposed. Tuck the sprigs of thyme around the pan and transfer to the oven.
  7. Braise the duck until the meat is very tender when poked with the tip of a knife, about 1 ½ hour. If the liquid gets too low (you do want it to reduce quite a lot to make a sauce), add a splash more stock. When the duck is ready, transfer the legs to your dinner plates and pull the mushrooms and shallots out with a slotted spoon. Remove the thyme stems and assess the braising liquid. You will most likely need to skim fat off the top. What’s the consistency like—still watery or is it saucy? If it’s saucy, great—just taste, season, and serve. If it’s a little loose still, just put it over high heat and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon, then season and serve.
Recipe by strawberryplum at