Steamed Duck Leg & Winter Vegetables

Earthy winter flavours are balanced by the acidity of lemon and the sweetness of the root vegetables in this steamed duck leg dish from Matt Gillan. Recipe courtesy

Serves: 2
10 mins
60 mins


  • 2 Gressingham duck legs
  • 1 handful of fresh thyme
  • sea salt

Glazed carrots

  • 6 carrots, small with stem attached
  • 500ml of orange juice

Baby turnips

  • 8 baby turnips
  • 1 dash of port
  • 1 dash of red wine


  • 200g of baby spinach leaves
  • 50g of butter

Turnip pickle and purée

  • 2 turnips
  • 150g of double cream
  • 1 dash of lemon juice


  1. Prepare the duck by deboning the leg. Season the flesh side of the meat with sea salt and a sprinkle of thyme leaves.
  2. Place one leg on top of the other and vacuum pack tightly. Alternatively, wrap tightly in a generous portion of cling film to seal.
  3. Place in a steamer and cook for 40 minutes. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool slightly before gently pan-frying to crisp up the skin and achieve a golden brown colour. Remove and allow to rest for 4 minutes before slicing in half. Set aside to reheat when required.
  4. Peel the carrots, place into a saucepan and add just enough orange juice to cover. Place the pan on a medium heat and cook the carrots gently until tender - top up the orange juice as you go to ensure they are completely covered during the cooking process.
  5. Allow the orange to reduce during the last 3-5 minutes of cooking time until it has athick, syrupy consistency. Set aside until required
  6. Peel the baby turnips, leaving the green tops intact. Place into a small pan with the Port, red wine and a pinch of salt. Cook on a high heat for 4-6 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the liquid.
  7. Use a mandolin to thinly slice 1 large turnip into round discs. Place into a bowl with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  8. Cut the remaining turnip into small pieces, heat a saucepan with a little vegetable oil and add the turnip. Sauté for 1 minute then pour in enough water to half submerge the turnips. Cover the pan and cook until soft.
  9. Remove the lid and reduce the remaining liquid. Add the double cream and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and blend to a purée. Season with salt and return to the pan to reheat when required.
  10. Reheat the purée and carrots and place the duck leg on a small tray - with a dash of water - into a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 6 minutes.
  11. For the spinach, place the butter in a large pan. Once it begins to sizzle and foam, add the spinach and cook until it has completely wilted. Season with salt and drain away any excess liquid.
  12. Divide the hot spinach between 2 plates and place the duck on top. Scatter the carrot and turnips around with a piece of the marinated turnip and few dollops of the purée. Finish with a drizzle of the juices from the oven tray and serve immediately.

Our Story

The Gressingham duck is a unique breed that first came about when the small but flavourful wild Mallard was crossed with the larger Pekin duck giving a meaty, succulent duck with more breast meat, less fat and a rich gamey flavour.