Roast Duck Legs paired with Pinot Noir

Roast duck legs with potatoes and a light orange gravy

Roast Duck Legs paired with Pinot Noir

Crispy duck legs roast with potatoes to form the best duck fat roast potatoes. The light orange gravy provides a delicious sauce to bring the dish together. Duck and Pinot Noir is a classic pairing because both offer moderate intensity, with gentle acidity in the Haute Cabrière Pinot Noir Réserve balancing out the fattiness of the duck. Since duck often cooks well with fruit, the rich red fruit notes in this Pinot Noir couldn’t be a better a match. 

Roast duck legs with potatoes and a light orange gravy


At Haute Cabrière, the von Arnim family specialises in wines created from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grape varietals. This wine pays tribute to the versatility and history of Pinot Noir. A pioneering blend with rich colour and intense red fruit and spice on the nose followed by hints of cedar from the 18 months in French oak barrels. The palate is layered with well-balanced tannins.


Roast duck and potatoes:

  • 4 duck legs8 potatoes (about 1 kg) washed and cut into chunks
  • Fresh thyme strips


  • Splash of olive oil
  • 2 smallish to medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2.5 tsp flour
  • 4 strips of thickly peeled orange zest
  • Juice of one orange
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp marmalade
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard


Roast duck and potatoes

Step 1| Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Step 2| Heat a non-stick frying pan, season the duck legs well with salt and pepper and brown them skin side down until golden on both sides. This will render out a lot of the fat–reserve one tablespoon.

Step 3| Wash, dry and cut the potatoes into large chunks about 4cm big. You can leave the skin on. Add these to a large roasting tray and drizzle with the reserved duck fat and toss to coat. Ensure they are arranged in a single layer and there is enough space to add the duck legs. Season with salt and pepper

Step 4| Nestle the browned duck legs into the roasting pan with the potatoes skin side facing up. Tuck a few sprigs of thyme under the duck legs and around the pan.

Step 5| Roast for 90-100 minutes (1.5 hours) until the potatoes are golden and crispy. Cook for more than 1.5 hours if necessary and up to 2 hours.

Step 6| Turn the legs twice during the cooking process. 30 minutes into the cooking time turn them so the skin faces down. Do not turn the potatoes. 60 minutes in, remove the duck legs and turn the potatoes over using a spatula.

Step 7| Return the legs back to the pan with the skin facing up again. Roast for the final 30-50 minutes

The Gravy

Step 1| Start making the sauce as soon as the duck goes into the oven. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion with the star anise, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Put the lid on to create some moisture. About 4–5 minutes.

Step 2| When the onions are softened, add the flour, and stir for a few minutes until it has absorbed. Add a splash of stock to deglaze the pan. Slowly add the rest of the stock, orange zest and juice and cook for an hour over low heat covered.

Step 3| Stir every now and again. Remove the lid for the last half hour allowing the sauce to reduce.

Step 4| About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh sieve and then return it to the pot. Add one tablespoon of butter, the marmalade and Dijon and whisk to combine.

Step 5| Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Step 6| When the roast is ready, remove the duck legs and drain the potatoes on a paper towel to get rid of any excess fat. Arrange the potatoes on a platter with the duck legs and the orange gravy on the side.

To plate|Serve with a green salad or any steamed green vegetable of your choice such as beans or broccolini.


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