A tart, slightly sweet currant sauce complements and adds bright flavors to these crispy duck legs and roasted turnips.
4 (8-ounce/225g) duck legs, skin on, excess fat removed
2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 medium turnips (about 10 ounces/280g), peeled and each cut into ten wedges
1 tablespoon (15ml) finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup (80ml) balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup (80ml) black current preserves
¼ cup (60 ml) water
2 teaspoons (10g) unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C) with a rack in the upper and lower third.
Sprinkle both sides of the duck legs generously with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon (5ml) of the thyme leaves.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add the duck legs, skin side down, and sear for 4 minutes. Turn the legs and sear for 1 minute.
Transfer the duck to a medium roasting pan, skin side up. (Reserve the duck fat in the skillet for later use.) Cover the pan and roast the duck for 1 hour on the upper rack. Uncover and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
While the duck is roasting, spread the turnips in a single layer, in another roasting pan. Drizzle the turnips with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the reserved duck fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining teaspoon (5ml) of thyme leaves.
About 35 minutes before the duck is done, put the turnips in the oven, on the lower rack, so that the duck and the turnips will be ready at the same time.
When the duck is ready, let it rest while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce, remove all but 1 tablespoon of duck fat from the skillet used for searing. (If there is less than 1 tablespoon left, just use what is left.) Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook and stir for 30 seconds.
Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 1 minute.
Add the black current preserves and water and simmer for 30 seconds. Turn off heat and whisk in the butter.
To serve, spoon the desired amount of sauce on 2 plates and top with 2 duck legs. Arrange the turnips next to the duck.