Tag Archives: Duck

Birthday Feast: Cheats Duck Cassoulet

12 Sep

Last week was the 1st Birthday of the Legal Tart! How time has flown!

I first started this blog a year ago to give me an outlet from my legal work. Don’t get me wrong I do for the most part enjoy what I do, but there are times where I need to do something completely different, and while I still play with the idea of moving to Positano and selling tomatoes for a living, cooking and blogging seems a little less extreme 🙂

They say mindfulness is the key to happiness. Some people achieve this through yoga and meditation, others through going for a run, but my mindfulness comes through cooking and as a side bonus I get to eat the fruits of my labour and feed others.

I can’t pretend that blogging has been a completely joyful experience. There are times, largely when I am having technical issues like today, that blogging can feel like another thing on my to-do list. But when I see comments from all you lovely readers I am always glad I took the time to put down some thoughts and share a recipe.

Almost a one pot wonder!

This meal is a celebration meal. I keep promising myself that I am going to make a proper cassoulet, but time so far as worked against me. When I saw this short-cutted version I couldn’t believe my luck and marked it immediately for later cooking. You will be rewarded for your efforts with meltingly tender pieces of duck that simply fall from the bone and a rich sauce.

Cheats Cassoulet

Adapted slightly from Gourmet Traveller

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tbsp of duck fat
  • 1 duck (ask your butcher to carve it up for you or in the alternative buy breast and leg pieces)
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 300 gms of speck chopped into 2 cm pieces
  • 400 gm can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400 gems of dried cannellini beans soaked overnight
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp of all spice
  • 2 litres of water
  • Fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

1. Soak beans in water overnight in a large bowl, the water height should be about 5 cm above the beans

2. Heat duck fat in a very large casserole pot and out on high heat

3. Season duck with salt and pepper on the skin side and then place skin side down into the hot duck oil.

4. Once the duck fat as rendered slightly and the skin looks golden flip the duck piece over and cook on the other side You may need to do this in batches.

5. Place cooked duck on a plate and set aside

6. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion garlic and speck and fry off until the onion has softened.

7. Return the duck to the casserole pot with the tomatoes, drained beans, sage leaves, bay leaves, allspice and 2 litres of water.

8. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 3- 3 ½ hours or until the beans are tender.

9. Once the beans are tender remove the duck pieces into a large shallow baking dish and then top with the bean and sauce mixture.

10. Scatter a coating of breadcrumbs on the top and drizzle with olive oil before returning to the oven. Turn the heat up to 200 degrees, allow the breadcrumbs to brown

11. Serve straight from the casserole dish with a green salad and some baguette.


Red Duck Curry and Lunch with Margaret Fulton

12 Jan

I may be one of the most unobservant people on the planet. Friends can attest to this. It is not unknown for me to be walking down a street and not see a person I know standing directly in front of me waving or only notice them when I almost bump into them. I don’ t know why I am like this, but I blame it on having such an active internal world that sometimes I forget the world around me. This unobservant tendency can be a blessing, I can avoid eye contact with people I don’t want to see, but it can also be a curse. I often miss exciting things happening because I am not paying attention or I miss important people.

Before Christmas I was at the David Jones Oyster and Champagne bar, a Christmas outing Mutti and I do every year. We plonked ourselves down with our multitude of bags at two available stools. I watched Mutti attempt to mount the stool like a small child gets on the couch, a kind of scrambling heaving motion. She claims the stools are completely impractical for little pocket people. I am still not convinced it is not just a lack of grace and co ordination on her part, but I declined to mock her as I usually would because there was also a little pocket sized elderly woman next to me. I was one fully grown human in munchkin land and I really didn’t want a house to drop on me 🙂 I happily ate my oysters and drank my champagne and chatted with Mutti about food and what we were preparing for Christmas and when the little lady next to me departed, I held on to her stool so she could slide off. As she went off to pay her bill the man sitting nearby said “you know who that was don’t you…Margaret Fulton” Suddenly my head was spinning around like Linda Blair trying to locate her, when I took a second look I realised it was indeed the Grandmother of Australian cooking herself.

If I had seen her I would have asked her about my proposed twist on her recipe and any suggestions she might have but alas my lack of attention struck again. The idea for the recipe below came from one on the Woolworths recipe cards that Margaret Fulton has been a part of. I usually fail miserably at recreating Thai food but in true tradition, Margaret Fulton’s recipes never fail, not even with my minor adjustments and general lack of attention to detail.

Are you easily distracted by your own thoughts? Have you ever had lunch with a well known personality?

Red Thai Duck Curry

Serves 3-4

Adapted from a recipe by Margaret Fulton

  • 400 gms of duck breast
  • 2 tbsp of red curry paste
  • 1 400 ml can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of fresh pineapple cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of baby peas
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 4 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 cherry tomatoes

1. Season duck breast and sear in hot pan for a couple of minutes on both sides. Put aside to rest covered in alfoil

2. Add 1/2 tbsp of duck fat in wok and add curry paste. heat until aromatic and add 1/2 the coconut milk. Allow to bubble away until thickening.

3. Add remaining coconut milk, pineapple, water, fish sauce, peas and lime leaves.

4. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer away to sauce reaches desired consistency

5. Slice duck breast on an angle and add it to the curry with tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes

Duck breast should be cooked rare


6. Serve with rice.




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