This ends up rather like a confit, although it's not cooked by completely immersing the leg in goose or duck fat. Apples and duck are the perfect match as the acidity of the cooking apple counteracts the fattiness of the duck.
To cook the duck
The two duck legs
Half a head of garlic
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
A few sprigs of thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the mash
1 cooking apple, peeled and cored
1/2tbsp caster sugar
1 large floury potato, peeled and cut into quarters
A couple of good knobs of butter
For the sauce
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
150ml hot chicken stock
Pre-heat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3. Place the duck legs in a tight-fitting ovenproof pot with the rest of the ingredients, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hours until tender, basting every so often. Turn the oven up to 220C/gas mark 7.
Meanwhile put the potatoes into a saucepan, cover with water, lightly salt, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain, return to the
pan and place over a low heat for a minute to evaporate any excess water. Mash with a potato masher, season and add a knob of butter.
Meanwhile, chop the apples into chunks and place in a saucepan over a low heat with the butter and sugar and cook on a low heat, stirring every so often until the apples have disintegrated and dried out a bit, then mix with the mashed potato and keep warm.
To make the sauce, gently cook the shallots in the butter for a couple of minutes until soft, stir in the flour and then gradually add the cider, stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming (you can give it a good whisk if it's lumpy). Add the chicken stock, then boil until the sauce has reduced by about three-quarters and thickened.
While this is happening, drain the fat from the duck legs (keep it for roast potatoes) and return to the oven for about 20-25 minutes so they crisp up. To serve, spoon the mash on to the centre of warmed plates, place the duck legs on top and spoon the sauce around.Reuse content