Honey-Glazed Mallard, Confit Leg, Turnips & Cavolo Nero

by Paul Welburn

Main Medium ​​​​​​​ 4 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 3 hours 30 minutes


2 whole mallard ducks, legs removed and crown trimmed

2 sprigs of thyme

1/2 garlic bulb, split

vegetable oil




50g of coarse sea salt

1 star anise

1 juniper berry

1 slice of orange peel

1 sprig of thyme

5 black peppercorns

1kg mallard duck bones, or use regular duck bones if unavailable

3 shallots, peeled and sliced

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, sliced

1 juniper berry, crushed

3 peppercorns, crushed

1 sprig of thyme, small

1 tbsp of red wine vinegar

175ml of red wine

125ml of port

500ml of dark chicken stock

1 dash of oil

500g of duck fat, melted

1 sprig of thyme

1/2 garlic bulb, split

800g of floury potatoes

200g of cream

200g of butter



1 bunch of baby turnips, trimmed and washed

200g of water

200g of butter

100ml of honey

25ml of sherry vinegar

2 juniper berries

2 star anise

400g of cavolo nero, hard stems removed



thyme leaves

flaky sea salt


1. To begin, prepare the mallard legs. Add the curing salt ingredients to a blender and blitz together until well-combined. Cover the mallard legs in the salt mix in a dish and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5

3. While the legs are curing, start the sauce. Spread the bones out on a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden

4. Add a dash of oil to a saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the shallots and carrots and cook until tender and golden. Add the garlic, spices and herbs, then deglaze the pan with the vinegar, scraping the base of the pan to remove any residue

5. Add the wine and port and reduce by half. Add the roasted bones and stock and simmer for 25–30 minutes

6. Rinse the salt from the mallard legs and pat dry. Add the legs to a saucepan fitted with a cooking thermometer, add the thyme and garlic and pour over the melted duck fat, ensuring the legs are completely covered. Place over a low heat and steadily confit at 85°C for 2 hours. Do not allow the temperature to go above 85°C, or the meat will start to fry and toughen

7. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4

8. Place the potatoes for the mash on a baking tray and cook in the oven until completely tender inside

9. Meanwhile, pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce over a medium-high heat until it reaches the desired consistency. Season to taste and set aside

10. When the mallard legs are ready, carefully drain from the fat. Twist the thigh bone out of the leg, leaving the drumstick bone in place. Set aside

11. Now cook the turnips. Add the water to a pan, bring to a simmer then whisk in the butter. Add the turnips and cook until tender, for approximately 20 minutes

12. To make the honey glaze, add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the liquid by one third and set aside

13. When ready to cook the duck crowns, heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan. Season the crowns, inside and out, and place the crowns in the pan breast-side down. Caramelise all over the breasts until golden, draining any excess fat as it renders