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Duck Legs With Potatoes, Apples and Brown Cabbage

Recipe courtesy of Trine Hahnemann from her cookbook 'Scandinavian Comfort Food'

"This recipe feels a little bit like going to some of the wonderful small museums you’ll find around Scandinavia, housing paintings by the old masters. It’s difficult to explain, but when I eat this dish I can see the landscape in those paintings, the potatoes that come from the soil, the apples that grow on the trees, the ducks walking around in the villages, and the dark kitchens always smelling of cabbage. It is a little bit like time travel." -Trine Hahnemann 

Recipe courtesy of Trine Hahnemann from her cookbook Scandinavian Comfort Food. Click here to purchase your own copy. 


For The Duck

  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 Tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 4 duck legs
  • 2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

For the Vegetables

  • 9 Ounces potatoes, unpeeled
  • 4 apples
  • Brown Cabbage

Brown Cabbage (brunkål)

  • 3 1/2 Pounds white cabbage
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 Cup caster (granulated) sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 Teaspoons allspice
  • 2 Teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 thyme sprigs
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice, to taste


For The Duck

Grind the spices to a coarse mixture using a pestle and mortar. Mix in the salt, rub the mixture into the duck legs and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Place the duck legs in a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour, now and then basting the duck with the fat rendering into the tin as they cook. While they are cooking, cut the potatoes and apples into wedges.

For the Vegetables

Add potatoes to the roasting tin with the duck and roast for another 45 minutes, then add the apples, mix well with the juices in the roasting tin and roast for another 15 minutes. Check that the duck meat is tender and, if not, continue to cook a little longer. Serve with brown cabbage.

Brown Cabbage (brunkål)

Cut the cabbage into medium-thin slices. Melt the butter and cook until light brown, then add the sugar and let it melt into a light brown caramel. Stir well, then add the cabbage, spices and herbs and stir well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Take off the heat and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.