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Confit Duck Legs

Braised Red Cabbage & Dauphinoise potato


{MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}This week it seems like we have lost that lovely warm weather that we were all enjoying during this tough time. You might have the log fires on and be craving creature comforts so I thought about a heart-warming dish that will get the taste buds wanting more. On board the vessels we aim to add some of that homeliness to the menus. That could be a Cottage Pie for lunch or a Beef Wellington served at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.  

Whilst working aboard Island Sky last year, I remember having the pleasure of meeting a lovely couple from Yorkshire. They had been away from home for a month on their travels and were craving some good old comfort food.  So for a treat, I laid on the full works for them : Toad in the Hole with all the trimmings!!!!!  I could easily have provided this week’s dish for them as well : Confit of Duck Legs accompanied by Braised Red Cabbage and Dauphinoise Potatoes.  

As Head Chef aboard the Sky vessels it’s my pleasure to offer you the best cuisine and attention to detail, all served with passion for what we do, which we do from the heart.

Many thanks and I hope you enjoy this week’s dish.


Darren Marchant 

Head Chef – the Sky Fleet 


Confit Duck Legs

6 Duck Leg

8 Juniper Berries

1 Small Bunch of Thyme

½ Teaspoon of Fennel Seeds

1 Rosemary Branch

3 Cloves of Garlic

50grams Maldon salt

500 grams Duck Fat/Goose Fat

Zest of 2 Oranges

1 Teaspoon White Pepper

2 Bay Leaves



1. The day before, put the juniper berries, fennel seeds, salt and orange zest into a liquidizer.  Blitz till course and then rub the mix onto the duck legs. Leave in the fridge overnight.

2. Pre heat the oven to 150 degrees or gas mark 2. Remove the duck legs from the fridge and place on kitchen roll, pat the legs taking the moisture off the duck legs. Try not to remove to much of the salt rub.

3.  Place the duck legs in an oven-proof casserole pan, add the garlic cloves, the rosemary branch and thyme, pepper corns and bay leaf. Pour over the duck fat or goose fat, then cover with a lid or Aluminium Foil.

4. Place in the oven for at least 2hrs 30 minutes until the meat from the duck is falling off the bone. Remove from the pan, place on a wire rack and leave to rest, letting the oil juices drip free (once the oil from the casserole is cooled, strain and place back into the jar as this can be used next time or for roast potatoes. The more times you use it the greater the flavour) 

Braised red cabbage

1 Red Cabbage

4 Shallots, Peeled and Sliced

80 grams Soft Brown Sugar

70ml Apple Cider Vinegar

150ml Full Bodied Red Wine

1 Cinnamon Stick

1 Star Anise

1 Cooking Apple, Peeled and Diced 


1. Cut the red cabbage into quarters and removes the core. Finely shred the cabbage and place into an oven proof dish with a lid.

2.  Add the red wine and all other ingredients, except the apple, into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the red cabbage and place in the oven along with the duck. When you remove the duck from the oven, remove the lid from the cabbage and add the apples. Stir gently as this will just cook the apples and won’t let them go to a pulp.


Dauphinoise potato

500ml Double Cream

500ml Whole Milk

4 Sliced Garlic Cloves

8 Large Maris Piper or King Edward Potatoes

100 Grams Gruyere Cheese, Grated

White Pepper and Salt to Season








1. Place the cream, garlic and milk into a pan with the salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.

2. Thinly slice the peeled potatoes and cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish, which is at least 5cm deep with one layer of potatoes. Add a ladle of the infused cream. Repeat until all the potatoes and cream are used up. Making sure the last layer is cream. Scatter the top with the grated cheese.

3. Bake in the oven at 150 degrees for about 40 minutes before the duck is ready. While the duck is resting, turn the oven up to colour the top of the potatoes. This will take a further 10-15 minutes.

4. If cooking this dish on its own, bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees until potatoes are soft and the top is brown.

To serve

Heat a frying pan on the stove without oil and add the duck legs. Fry gently to crisp up the skin. Put on to warmed plates and serve the red cabbage and potatoes, in their dishes, on the table for everyone to help themselves. 


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