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Cracked Pepper Duck

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Recipe by: Chef John V.
Serving size: 2
Preparation time: about 1 hour 15 minutes


2 duck legs
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
1 cup water
3 tablespoons onions--finely chopped
2 tablespoons green pepper--finely chopped
2 tablespoons red pepper--finely chopped
2 tablespoons celery--finely chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
3 tablespoons dry white wine
salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon cognac (optional)
1 tablespoon sherry (optional)


Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Trim any visible fat from the legs, crack black peppercorns, sprinkle on both sides of legs, press lightly into skin and the meat, place in a roasting pan only slightly larger than what it takes to accommodate the two legs. Place pan with the legs in the oven and let cook for 15 minutes until golden brown, Take out of oven, remove as much fat as possible from the pan, add the green and red pepper, onion and celery to pan around the legs. Return to oven for 10 minutes, then add water and white wine, reduce heat to 375F. Let simmer for the balance of the time (20 minutes), check liquid level after 10 minutes, add a little water if needed. Remove from oven, place legs on platter, cover to keep warm. To make removal of the last fat on the liquid easier, pour liquid into small container. Let sit for two minutes, skim off fat, return de-greased liquid to pan, add cognac and sherry. Place on burner, reduce to 3oz, then whip the sour cream or yogurt into it, simmer over low heat for a couple of minutes. Place the legs on hot plates, ladle the sauce on each leg, garnish with your favorite vegetables) or serve with a green salad, rice, potatoes or noodles. Can be prepared ahead of time. Re-heat in covered vessel in oven or microwave oven. Can be frozen as well. For low calorie preparation, remove skin from leg, follow recipe, but add red and green pepper, onion and celery right away. Add the water after 15 minutes and turn the heat down to 375F. Finish cooking in a covered pan. Serve with Sauteed potatoes and fresh green beans.