Duck Legs with Roasted Vegetables and Pomegranate Jus | Wine Enthusiast
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Duck Legs with Roasted Vegetables and Pomegranate Jus

Adapted from New German Cooking (Chronicle Books, 2015), by Jeremy and Jessica Nolen

“If you browse through old German cookbooks, you’ll discover the seemingly non-Germanic combination of pomegranate seeds and duck,” says Jeremy Nolen in New German Cooking, the cookbook he wrote with his wife, Jessica. Here, pomegranate and orange juice offer counterpoints of acidity and sweetness to heartier flavors of duck and roasted root vegetables. Maggi sauce, an umami-rich seasoning similar to soy sauce, was first marketed in Germany in the late 1800s, but it’s better known today in Asian and Latin American cuisines.


4 duck legs
2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 springs fresh tarragon
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground pepper
16 ounces pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons Maggi seasoning sauce
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Juice of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon peeled and finely minced fresh ginger


Heat oven to 400˚F. In small roasting pan on stove over medium-high heat, sear duck legs, skin-side down, until skin turns golden brown, about 6 minutes. Turn duck legs over and cook 5 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

With slotted spoon, transfer duck legs to plate. Add turnips, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and onion to roasting pan, and stir to mix with fat. Place tarragon sprigs on top of vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Place duck legs, skin-side up, over vegetables. Place pan in oven.

Roast duck legs, turning vegetables occasionally, until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg away from bone registers 165˚F, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine pomegranate juice, Maggi sauce, allspice, vinegar, orange juice and ginger in small saucepan set over high heat. Bring to boil, then lower heat to medium and cook until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

Transfer duck legs and vegetables to plate or platter with jus. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Pair It

Rudolf Fürst 2015 Klingenberger Schlossberg Spätburgunder (Franken). Bold black fruit, elegant bramble tones, bristling acidity and fine tannins harmonize beautifully with both sweet and gamy elements of this dish.