Skip to Content

Slow Roast Duck Legs with Balsamic Vinegar Gravy

Slow roast duck legs, with perfectly golden crispy skin, soft and moist meat and a delicious and simple silky balsamic gravy.

This dish takes around 3 hours to cook, but you only spend 10-15 miuntes or so at the stove, the rest of the time is all yours!

Balsamic gravy being poured over a slow roast duck leg.

Slow Cooked Duck Legs

If you have spent any time here you will know that duck is an ingredient that I adore cooking with.

Whether it is my whole roast duck, classic duck with orange sauce or even my Indian duck curry they are among my personal favourite recipes.

Slow cooking duck helps render out all that white fat and it does not matter whether it is duck breast like in my Thai duck curry or the duck legs!

It is such a simple way of cooking too, a nice low oven, season the duck legs then roast them for two and a half hours. Then turn up the heat to get some colour and get the gravy rocking and rolling.

Oh and what a gravy it is, again it sticks with the simple approach, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar and honey. This is reduced down in the oven and all you have to do is thicken with cornflour (cornstarch in the US).

This dish is perfect dinner party food, it can be scaled up for as many people as you like and so long as your oven is big enough, there are no timing changes.

Overhead slow roast duck leg with balsamic gravy, cabbage and roast potatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Will this method work with chicken legs?

No, chicken has nowhere near enough fat to cope with this type of cooking. Treat yourself to some duck legs, you will love this!

How long will the skin stay crispy?

The skin will remain nice and crispy for around 15-20 minutes. It will then start to go kinda chewy, which I secretly love!

Can I cook this recipe for more people?

Yes! In fact, this recipe is perfect for scaling both up and down. You do not need to alter the cooking time at all.

One thing you must do though is to make sure you that do not overcrowd your roasting tin. Leave a good two fingers space between each duck leg.

Also if you are cooking lots a good hint is to place the duck legs on a wire rack so that they do not get submerged in fat.

Is the rendered fat good for keeping?

Oh yes! This is perfect for passing through a fine sieve and used in cooking at a later date. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge and use at your leisure.

If kept properly it will last up to 6 months, but good luck resisting for that long!

Slow roast duck leg with balsamic gravy, cabbage and roast potatoes.

Serving Suggestions.

Cooking for two means that often times a large roasted dinner is a bit of overkill.

These slow roast duck legs are absolutely perfect for turning into a smaller roast dinner.

This time round I made some crushed roast potatoes. I popped them in the oven for the final 30 minutes of cooking at the lower temperature and the 30 minutes at a high temperature. Make sure to parboil them first!

I also made some savoy cabbage with bacon, although I dropped the Crème Fraiche and cooked it in white wine rather than stock.

They would be awesome with red cabbage, roasted parsnips, garlic green beans, I’d even serve them with Yorkshire puddings!

Essentially anything you would have with your trad Sunday lunch.

Slow roast duck legs served on cabbage with roast potatoes and balsamic gravy.
Yield: 2 Servings

Slow Roast Duck Legs Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Many people consider duck intimidating to cook with, but these foolproof slow roasted duck legs prove differently. The perfect small-scale roast for two people or easily scaled for a dozen providing your oven is big enough.


  • 2 Duck legs
  • 1 Tsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • ½ Black Pepper
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ Tbsp Honey
  • ½ Tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)


  1. Heat your oven to 150°C or 300°F.
  2. Dry the duck legs as well as you can then rub all over with the sea salt and black
  3. Baste the duck legs with the fat that is rendering out of it 2 or 3 times through the cooking process.
  4. Mix together the chicken stock, balsamic vinegar and honey.
  5. After 2½ hours turn the oven to fan mode at 200°C or 400°F.
  6. Remnove the duck pan and drain all but a scant covering of oil from the duck roasting pan.
  7. Pour in the chicken stock mix and return to the oven.
  8. Cook for a final 30 minutes.
  9. Remove form the oven and set aside the duck legs.
  10. Mix the cornstarch with a tablespoon of the the cooking liquid, then stir it back through the liquid to thicken for a minute or so.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 1440mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 28g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Fantastic recipe. Succulent duck, excellent sauce. I serve mine with roast veg (Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver) and some seasonal greens.

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

So glad you enjoyed it Barbara :)

Skip to Recipe