Cuisses de Canard a L’Ail


I’ve been neglecting the ducks and I know they’ve felt it.  I don’t know what happened to me but could it be that I’ve been in a sort of  “dip” since I returned from the U.S.?  It feels as if my enthusiasm has flagged and there’s no excuse for that!  All of this beautiful food and wine! What’s wrong with me ??!!  Could it be shell shock trauma from my 8 months in the States?  That’s it!  I’m not going back 😀


When we were living in Bangladesh, as I’ve told you, we had this driver called Gasuddin. One day he drove me and a friend to town for shopping.  My friend needed to run into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription while I waited in the car with Gasuddin.  In cases like this, he always liked to stand outside the car on guard or something whenever we stopped. After a while, I noticed a kind of rhythmic, gentle thumping on the side of the car.  This continued for about 10 minutes and when I looked out of window, Gasuddin had a little boy of maybe 9 years old by the scruff of the neck, continuously thumping the boy’s head against the side of the car.

Me:  What are you doing?

Gasuddin:  This little street kid was thinking about scratching the car.

Me:  Stop that.

Gasuddin:  But….

Me:  Now.

There was a definite mean streak in Gasuddin, although he was always charming to me. However, no matter his small, skinny stature, I believe other Bangladeshis would look at him and see Hell Boy or something.  They were afraid of him in the market and he could clear an aisle for me to walk through in an instant!  I wonder what he’s doing today? Probably in jail 😀


Anyway, the duck.  I got these lovely duck legs from Jean Louis.  They are farm raised and can’t be compared to the duck you find in the supermarkets.


I decided to go for the ole herbs, a lot of garlic and duck in tajine with tiny French onions. Easy and satisfying.


In the meantime while the duck was in the oven, I opened up a really good can of sardines, added some expiring cherry tomatoes and mache for an appetizing entree.


Duck Legs with Garlic

4 duck legs



5 spice powder

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups fresh pearl onions, blanched and peeled

1 really large head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled

Handful of random fresh herbs (bay leaves, thyme, oregano)

1/2 cup white wine

2 tbsp water

Sprinkle the duck with salt, pepper and 5 spice, then rub in.  Brown the duck in a stove top to oven pan (tajine), then set aside.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of accumulated fat from the pan, then add the onions and garlic, briefly browning.  Sprinkle the herbs on top of the onions and garlic, then top with the legs, skin side up.  Pour the wine over all.

Put the top on the pan, then place in a 375 F oven for 1 hour.  Remove the top, add the water to the pan and continue to roast for 30 minutes.








About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in Cooking, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Cuisses de Canard a L’Ail

  1. Shaurya says:

    Love it..can’t wait to try this ❤

    Check out my blog at

  2. Mad Dog says:

    You have been neglecting the duck – I noticed 😉 Those do look like excellent legs!
    I bought some Parmentier sardines, avec hulie d’olive et piment, last week – they were so good I had to rush out and buy more! Yours look even better, as they are vintage (Millésimées 2011) and I love the name, La Perle des Dieux 🙂

  3. Duck is definitely number one on my food chain, especially duck confit. We have sardines here in the Montery Bay, I like them but wouldn’t mind tasting yours.

  4. Yay – the duck is back, and looks delicious! Gasuddin sounds mean 🙁

    • He was mean. Bangladesh is about 51,000 square miles with a population of 156,000,000. Yearly, storms pass through and extract huge pieces of land, dispersing or relocating it. People actually starve to death there. Life is hard and produces hard men; women and their children are murdered by the husband’s family because the wife’s family is late with a dowry payment, 10 year old maids are raped and thrown in rivers, people starve to death on street as the affluent pass them by. Bangladesh was one of the poorest countries I’ve ever lived in and one of meanest. Gasuddin, from a horrible Dhaka slum, managed to survive his environment into his late 20s when I met him. I imagine the nice men didn’t make it.

      • It’s a world which is beyond the experience and comprehension of most of us, it’s good to learn and understand more about what other people have to go through to survive. I suspect I am guilty of making judgements without knowing the full story, although as I get older and a little wiser, I try to hold back and think differently.

        • I hope that didn’t sound like a criticism. I was just stating the facts as, to my horror, I came to know them. Never hold back, I was glad to tell you about Bangladesh. Stay tuned for the next installment of Gasuddin and the other rickshaw driver 🙂 If you don’t laugh in this world, you could spend your life in tears. Look at that horrible picture of the Syrian child that is everywhere you look. Horrible!

          • Oh god Rosemary, not at all! I too was thinking of that tragedy and the photos. Lots of conversations over the last few days with folk about how we don’t know what the answer is but the feeling of wanting to help. After all, people don’t undertake journeys like that or put their children into boats if the alternative or staying put is even more horrific.

  5. Glad to see you’re using good tinned sardines…they’re always in my cupboard. Surprisingly, Molly the gourmet cat, is very keen on them too:)

  6. Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely story and lovely recipe Rosemary. Adding in a snack of the sardines into proceedings is a nice touch too.

  7. Pingback: Cuisses de Canard a L’Ail | Cappuccino

  8. Pingback: Tajine di agnello all’uva | La Caccavella

Leave a Reply