Duck leg tagine slowly cooked until perfectly tender on a bed of onions, dried apricots and almonds in a mildly spicy rose harissa sauce.
It’s a supremely easy dish to cook, all you need to do is brown the duck legs, then layer up the dish, pour over the sauce add a lid and wait for dinner to be ready!
Moroccan Influenced Duck Legs
I adore cooking with duck and I love cooking with North African flaovurs, so this wonderful Moroccan-influenced duck leg tagine ticks all of the boxes for me!
You don’t have to amble far on my website before you stumble across a duck recipe. I have offerings as diverse as a classic duck breast with orange sauce to a glorious tamarind duck leg recipe and of course whole roast duck.
Likewise, I have an equally eclectic collection of tagine recipes ranging from classics like Moroccan lamb tagine, vegetarian chickpea tagine and chicken tagine as well as less well-trodden paths like my rabbit tagine.
This recipe balances the richness of duck legs with sweet apricots and one of my favourite ingredients, rose harissa paste!
The addition of onions adds an extra level of flaovur and almonds provide a wonderful texture to a dish that you will want to make over and over again!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to cook this in a tagine?
No, you can cook this in a small skillet or frying pan, choose something around 24cm or 10″ in diameter, but you do need a lid.
What is rose harissa?
Rose harissa is a spicy pepper paste from North Africa, it differs from regular harissa in its use of rose petals and or rose water.
You can make this with regular harissa and it will taste great too.
I usually use Belazu branded harissa paste in my cooking.
Do I have to use apricots?
No, but this recipe definitely benefits from a little sweetness! If you are not keen on apricots how about swapping them out for dried dates?
What is sumac?
It is a spice made from the dried “fruit” of the sumac plant, it has a delicious tart flavour that is almost like a cross between lemon and vinegar.
You can use it as both a cooking ingredient and also as a seasoning on finished dishes. I use it both ways in this recipe.
What temperature should a duck leg be when it is cooked?
Whilst duck breast is wonderful when served pink I prefer duck legs to be cooked longer. It helps break down any connective tissue and makes them much nicer to eat.
I usually aim for at least 73-75°C or 165-167°F.
Tagines have big flavours and for that reason, I prefer blank canvases as side dishes.
It would work equally well with my batata harra recipe, a wonderful Lebanese-influenced potato dish!
You could also get some baby carrots and use the spicing from this Moroccan carrot recipe to make a vegetable side.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- Small 20-23cm (8-10″) tagine.
- Kitchen tongs.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
- Small mixing bowl and spoon for mixing th sauce.
Morrocan-influenced flavours are no stranger here and this duck leg tagine features more than a passing nod to those ideas.
- 2 (Around 225-250g or 8oz Each) Duck Legs
- 200g (1 Large) Onion
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 100g (⅓ Cup) Dried Apricots
- 50g (¼ Cup) Blanched almonds
- 2 Tbsp Rose Harissa Paste
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tsp Cooking Oil
- ¼-½ Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp Sumac
- Loads of Coriander (to garnish)
- Dry the duck legs thoroughly then pierce the skin all over with a sharp paring knife and trim any excess fat from the underside of the leg.
- Cut the onion into 1-1½cm or (½") thick slices then peel off the skin from the outside.
- Peel the garlic cloves and slice them as thinly as you can.
- Cut the dried apricots in half.
- Mix together the harissa paste, water and lime juice in a small mixing bowl.
- Heat the base of a small tagine over a medium-high heat and whilst it is heating rub the duck legs with the cooking oil and salt.
- When the tagine is hot sear the duck on the skin side only until it is golden, you will need to do these separately, then remove and set them aside. This will take 2-4 minutes per leg depending on the temperature of your tagine base.
- Reduce the heat under the tagine to low and layer up the ingredients in the order, onions to form a base, then sprinkle over the garlic, almonds and dried apricots. You can drain out some of the duck fat before you start layering up if you want, I never do!
- Add the duck legs skin side up, then pour over the harissa paste mix and sprinkle over half of the sumac, add the lid and cook on a low temperature for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the lid and sprinkle with the remaining sumac and lots of coriander.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 899Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 274mgSodium: 1406mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 9gSugar: 33gProtein: 73g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.