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Braised duck with figs, white balsamic vinegar and mint

Method

  1. The day before, put the figs in a bowl with the port. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and put in the fridge to marinate overnight. The next day, preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3).
  2. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper, then dip them in the flour. Shake of any excess flour. Put the oil in a large lidded flameproof and ovenproof casserole dish (Dutch oven) over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the duck legs and cook for 5 minutes on each side until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
  3. Pour off the excess oil from the casserole dish (Dutch oven) and reduce the heat. Add the butter, mint stalks, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Cook over a low heat for 4–5 minutes until lightly caramelized.
  4. Return the duck legs to the casserole dish (Dutch oven). Remove the figs from the port with a slotted spoon and pour the port over the duck legs. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and tuck in the marinated figs. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven. Braise for 2–2½ hours, or until the duck is tender. Add a little more stock if it starts to dry out.
  5. Carefully remove the duck legs and figs with a slotted spoon and divide between the serving plates. Strain the cooking sauce through a fine sieve (strainer) into a small pan and bring to the boil. Add the chopped mint leaves, pour over the duck legs and serve immediately.