Braised Duck with Niçoise Olives and Rosemary Print Email

8 duck legs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
1 cup dry red wine
1?2 cup pitted Nicoise olives
About 4 cups chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Season the duck with salt and pepper.

Heat a skim of oil, about 2 tablespoons, over medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet large enough to hold the duck in a snug single layer. Working in batches, brown the duck legs, skin side down, about 7 minutes. Flip them and then brown the other side, about 4 minutes more. Reserve the browned duck legs on a plate.

Discard most of the oil, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Fry the vegetables, stirring frequently and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent burning, until they soften and become a richly caramelized brown, about 12 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and rosemary and cook, stirring frequently, until it concentrates and darkens, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, scraping the bottom with a spoon.

Return the duck to the pan, skin side down, adding any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Add the olives and enough broth to barely cover.

Bring the broth to a simmer, then transfer the uncovered pan to the oven. Braise the duck in the oven, checking to make sure the liquid is simmering very gently. After 45 minutes, turn the legs over and continue cooking, basting the duck with the braising liquid every 10 minutes until the meat is beginning to shrink from the bone, about 45 minutes more.

Spoon off and discard any fat that floats on the surface of the braising liquid. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve in warm shallow bowls.

- serves 4 - Adapted from Salt to Taste by Marco Canora