Crispy Spiced Duck Legs with Thyme

Crispy Spiced Duck Legs with Thyme

Ultra- crispy duck legs are much easier to make than you might think. Spiced with fennel and thyme, they’ll make your dinner party guests very happy. 

Last week we threw a little dinner party. Nothing fancy, mind you. Matt’s lovely sister Hayli and her delightful husband Tristan* were visiting us from France for a couple of weeks and since they are both actors/musicians/carnies we thought they would have a lot in common with our neighbors Andy and Gina, who are also in the arts.

When we came up with this bright idea, we were huddled under a blanket, shivering in the unseasonable cold that seemed to be the defining aspect of “Summer” 2014.

“What would be a good thing to make for a small crowd on a chilly evening?”, I asked Matt, who was trying to warm his toes by rubbing them very quickly on an angry cat’s belly.

“Duck legs.”

“But didn’t we make that las-“

“Duck legs. I want crispy duck legs.”

“Duck legs it is, then. And give me some of that cat belly. My feet are freezing too.”

*Hayli and Tristan live in the Ardèche region of France. Arguably one of the most sophisticated culinary environments in the world so when they came to visit us, we felt we needed to impress them with the refined, subtle American cuisine one can only find at…Cracker Barrel

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Turkey Stock for Gravy

Ultimate Turkey Stock for GravyAsk me what my favorite Thanksgiving recipe is. Go on, ask. Fine, I’ll tell you anyway, but it might just blow your mind (not really, but just go with me here). It’s home-made turkey stock. Well, it’s really the gravy that is made with that stock but I’ll get to that soon.

I know it’s not gorgeously colorful like Mashed Butternut Squash. It’s not a crowd-pleaser like Sausage Stuffing With Apples and Sage, but it really does make everything it goes into taste so much better.

I wish I could say I was one of those people who always has a freezer full of home made stock ready for any culinary adventure, but the truth is I use boxed chicken stock all the time. It’s so convenient and the decent ones taste pretty good.

But for Thanksgiving I always go the extra mile and, funnily enough, it really kicks off the holiday season for me. It’s always the first recipe I make (often a week or even two before Thanksgiving) because I can make it on a weekend and freeze it until it’s needed. Honestly, I think it’s what makes this Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy) so irresistible.

Ultimate Turkey Stock for Gravy