Members' Recipes Archive

August 2008
Duck Legs with Buckwheat and Blackberry Sauce
Josephine Bacon

Duck Legs with Buckwheat and Blackberry Sauce

By: Josephine Bacon

Serves: 4

Josephine Bacon has been a cookery writer and translator all her working life, 45 years. Her latest books are Exotic Fruit and Vegetables A-Z which won the Gourmand World Prize in 2006 and A Sprig of Dill, a Romanian memoir with recipes by Sanda Nitesco which won the World Gourmand Prize for Translation in 2008. Her specialities are Middle East cooking and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables.

Panko is a mixture of wheat and other ingredients used in Japanese cooking as a tempura coating and makes a delicious substitute for dry breadcrumbs, as does coarse matzo meal. Panko can be found in oriental groceries, matzo meal in Jewish delis or the kosher section of supermarkets. Porcini (ceps) are wild mushrooms; if you can find fresh ones, which are starting to appear at this time of year, so much the better, then they don’t need soaking; allow double the weight of dried ones. In order not to waste the oven heat, you could bake a fruit crumble for dessert at the same time. Buckwheat groats are available from any Polish shop, healthfood or wholefood shop, and some supermarkets. They are a particularly healthy form of staple, recommended for diabetics and others on low-carbohydrate diets.


50g/2oz dried porcini (ceps)
8 duck legs
1 lemon, rind grated, juice squeezed
½ teaspoon ground five-spice
2 eggs, beaten separately
125g/4½oz Panko or coarse matzo meal
200g/7oz buckwheat grits
For the blackberry sauce:
250g/8oz blackberries
1 lemon, rind grated, juice squeezed
2 teaspoons arrowroot


1. Have ready a shallow baking tray, either non-stick or lined with baking parchment.
2. Soak the dried porcini (ceps) in 250ml/8fl oz warm water, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3. Sprinkle the duck legs with lemon juice and then with the grated lemon rind. Then sprinkle them with the five-spice.
4. Pour one of the beaten eggs into a shallow bowl. Pour the Panko or coarse matzo meal into another shallow bowl.
5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Dip the duck legs, one at a time, into the beaten egg, turning to coat thoroughly. Then dip each into the Panko or coarse matzo meal and turn to coat thoroughly. Transfer each immediately to the shallow baking tray. Put the baking tray into the centre of the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5 after half an hour and bake for another 30 minutes.
6. While the duck legs are cooking, pour the buckwheat into a bowl and add the other beaten egg. Stir well so that each grain is coated. Transfer the mixture to a dry, non-stick frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the grains dry, about 7 minutes.
7. Transfer the buckwheat to a saucepan and add 500ml/16fl oz water. Strain the ceps and chop them into smaller pieces. Add them with their strained soaking liquid to the buckwheat. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook on low heat, fluffing the grains occasionally and checking that the water has not evaporated. Add more water if necessary.
8. In another saucepan, bring 250ml/8fl oz water to the boil. Add the grated rind and juice of the lemon and the blackberries. Stir the arrowroot into 4 tablespoons of water. Add to the blackberries, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and reserve.
9. Serve the duck legs with a mound of buckwheat and a green vegetable or salad. Hand the sauce separately.

© Recipe copyright 2008 Josephine Bacon.


Author: Josephine Bacon Email:

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