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Pomegranate-braised duck legs

Pomegranate-braised duck legs
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

EVEN in a world where food trends cycle in and out faster than art-house films at a multiplex, the career trajectory of the pomegranate has been dazzling. Only three years ago it was a relatively esoteric fruit in this country. ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes, plus salting time | Serves 2 to 4
  • 4 duck legs (thighs attached)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 3 cups pomegranate juice (from 9 to 12 pomegranates)
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle or other hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
  • 1 small head frisee or lolla rossa lettuce

Step 1Season the duck legs on both sides with salt and pepper along with the herbes de Provence. Arrange skin-side up on a rack on a baking sheet and let stand, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Step 2Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the duck legs to a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold all of them in one layer. Roast 1 hour.

Step 3Meanwhile, in a small pan, bring the pomegranate juice and chipotle flakes just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 4After the duck legs have roasted for 1 hour, carefully drain off the fat from the baking dish and pour the warm pomegranate juice over the legs. Arrange the shallots around the legs. Return to the oven and bake 30 minutes longer, until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy.

Step 5Carefully pour the pan juices through a sieve into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by two-thirds. Arrange the greens on a platter or individual serving plates and top with the duck legs. Spoon a little sauce around them and garnish with a good handful of pomegranate seeds.

Note: For pomegranate juice, break open pomegranates and carefully remove the seeds. Using either an immersion or regular blender, liquefy the seeds and strain the juice through a sieve. Or you can use bottled Pom juice.


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