Roast duck leg with green spiced quinoa

Quinoa is a gluten free pseudocereal. It’s much lower in carbohydrates than white rice, while its protein content is the twice of rice. It is cooked with twice as much water as the amount of quinoa. It absorbs the water so you can make a larger amount of garnish from a smaller amount of quinoa. If it’s only cooked in salty water, it does not have much taste (in my opinion), however, with some seasoning, you can make it tasty.

Duck leg is pretty fatty. However, if we roast it on a high temperature for a long time, it gets dry. With the method written in the recipe, you can prevent the meat from drying out.

Seasoning of the duck is to taste. My mixture is 1 tsp salt and ground rosemary, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper and 1/4 + 1/2 tsp dried, ground garlic.

Crispy duck with green seasoned quinoaoa

Ingredients (makes four servings):

  • 4 duck legs
  • seasoning for the duck to taste
  • 6 dl water and a little more under the duck legs (see the recipe).

For the quinoa:

  • 230 g quinoa seeds
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil and parsley
  • 60 g onions
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 6 dl water.


  1. Preheat the oven to 230 °C (446 °F), and set it to upper-lower heat mode.
  2. Wash the duck legs and dry them gently but thoroughly with a paper towel. If there are small feathers in the skin, remove them. If the skin is too big, cut off excess parts and set aside (don’t throw them away).
  3. Prick the skin with a needle to help the fat leave. Season the legs to your taste on both sides, over the surface and under the skin as well (just as far as you can put your finger under the skin). Pat seasoning down into the skin to ensure it doesn’t fall off when roasting.
  4. Put the legs in a tray skin-side up. Make sure there is space between them. Place the cut off skin in the tray as well. Add in a little water just to protect the duck legs from sticking to the tray until fat starts to leave from them. Put the tray in the oven on the middle rack.
  5. Pour 6 dl water in a small tray and put it on the bottom of the oven.
  6. Roast the duck legs for 15 minutes.
  7. When 15 minutes passed, turn the oven to 150 °C (302 °F) and roast the duck legs for about 2 hours. Don’t wet them with the liquid in the tray, because if you do so, the skin will be less crispy.

While the legs are roasting, make the quinoa:

  1. Place it in a strainer and rinse until there is no foam on the seeds. (Quinoa has saponins, a natural coating that can make it taste bitter. This has to be removed by washing before cooking.)
  2. Peel the onions and chop them into small pieces.
  3. Oil a pot with 1/2 tsp olive oil, heat it up for a few seconds on a low heat and cook the onions until they start to get light brown (this will only take a few minutes).
  4. Add the quinoa, seasoning and 6 dl of water.
  5. Bring it to a boil. When it starts boiling, turn the heat on a low setting and cook it covered  for 15 minutes. Stir frequently.
  6. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and let it rest uncovered for 15 minutes. Then fluff it up with a fork. (By this time, quinoa will absorb all water.)
  7. After 15 minutes, put the lid back to protect the quinoa from drying out.

Serve the meal with white grapes, its taste matches the green seasoned quinoa and the meat.

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