Duck Leg Stracotto 8 Steps
Trim any excess and overhanging fat from each duck breast and dry them with paper towels. Season all of the duck breasts evenly on both skin and meat side, with the kosher salt. Place them on a wire lined rack and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours (ideally overnight).
The following day, wipe any moisture that developed overnight from the surface of the duck legs. Heat a Dutch oven or braising pan on medium and place the duck legs skin side down to begin browning and rendering the fat. Allow them to cook for 10-15 minutes until almost all of the fat has rendered down and the skin is golden brown and crisp. Flip to the remaining side and allow to brown for 3-4 minutes. Remove the browned duck legs from the pot and carefully drain off the fat in the pot (be sure to save this fat for future cooking or roasting, it's incredibly flavorful!) leaving about 2 tablespoons of the fat and return to the heat.
Add in the diced carrots, celery and onions. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables have softened, add in the minced garlic as well as tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Deglaze with the red wine and cook until the wine is a syrup-like consistency, be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan during this process.
Add in the brown sugar, chicken stock, pureed tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, as well as cheese rinds and bring to a boil. Gently return the duck legs to the simmering pot being sure to leave just the skin unsubmerged. Cover with a lid and continue cooking in a preheated 300°F oven for 1 ½ hours.
After 1 ½ hours, remove from the oven and add in the raisins and place back in the oven. Continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the duck meat just begins to pull away from the bone easily but is not falling apart.
Prepare the gremolata: roughly chop the parsley leaves and toss with the toasted pine nuts as well as lemon zest. Set aside.
Remove the entire braise from the oven and carefully lift the duck legs out and place on a wire rack lined baking sheet. Broil the duck legs for 3-4 minutes until the skin begins to crisp again. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce in the pot with salt and pepper.
Cook the fresh pasta according to package directions and toss with the tomato sauce, top with the duck legs and then the gremolata. Alternatively you could also pull the meat off of the bones, lightly shred and fold it into the sauce before tossing with the pasta.