I’ve recently gotten into the habit of buying ducks at the local Asian market. They’re super cheap and, although it takes a little bit of butchering, I end up with plenty of meat and a big pot of stock all for around $10. Compare that to the $6 per tiny confit leg that the regular grocery store charges, and you’ll see that it’s a pretty good bargain! I was cleaning out the freezer the other day when I found a few legs that I had forgotten about. This recipe, inspired by Fine Cooking and by the apple cider vinegar braised chicken thighs that I’ve made before, was the perfect way to use them up.
While the duck with perfectly crisp skin is amazing, the real star of this dish is the butternut squash. It’s buttery soft and the subtle flavor of the star anise contrasts really nicely against the squash’s sweetness. It was some of the best squash I’ve eaten; I wouldn’t hesitate to make a double portion of this recipe, without the duck, to serve as a side dish or simple meatless meal.