Duck bitoks

Serves 4

Bitoks are a kind of Russian patty-cum-meatball and are served with sour cream. The minced meat from a duck leg is perfect for this; ask your butcher to do this or mince it yourself.

2 large or 4 small duck legs, boned, skin reserved and the flesh coarsely minced
4 shallots, peeled, halved, and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
A handful of small salad leaves and herbs
Sour cream to serve (optional)

For the dressing

tbsp white wine vinegar

tsp Dijon mustard

2tbsp olive oil

Mix the duck meat with the shallots and season to taste. Mould into 8 flat patties (a pastry cutter is useful for this). Refrigerate until required. Cut the skin into half a cm wide strips, place in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 5 minutes and drain.

Dry well on some kitchen paper then heat a cm or so of oil in a saucepan and fry the skins until crisp, moving them around in the pan so they crisp evenly. Be careful as they do have the tendency to splatter a bit. Remove from the oil, drain on some kitchen paper and season with salt.

To serve, heat a heavy frying pan or ribbed griddle pan and lightly oil it and cook the bitoks for a couple of minutes on each side. Meanwhile, whisk the vinegar, mustard and olive oil together and toss in with the salad leaves and crispy skin. Arrange the salad on serving plates with the bitoks and serve the sour cream on the side.