For a long time I'd been flirting with the idea of making oven roasted duck with cabbage. Still, I'd been avoiding getting into a more sophisticated and complex recipe for the sake of convenience. However, the craving was greater so I came up with a variant of mine, for lazy people, starting from the idea that "the duck must sit on the cabbage!" First of all, pick the right duck meat. In our family, when there is a whole duck, there is always fighting over the thighs. Now I prefer to buy only thighs and everyone is at peace. You can combine sauerkraut with fresh cabbage or use just one of them, depending on how sour you like it. Then, I only used basic spices (I tried to use thyme but it seemed to completely cover the taste of meat and everything else, so adjust to taste). I focused on baking it in the oven - for 2 hours, not just to be cooked through, but also baked, with that special "wow" taste. You see, the charm and the special taste are not from the spices, they come precisely from the fact that the cabbage was roasted in the juice and the fat from the duck.
And yes, the duck on the cabbage was perfect, extraordinary even! The cabbage is cooked in the fat released by the duck and it melts in the mouth. This is why the duck is the key ingredient here, it's fattier and it's the perfect choice. I will also post a variant with pork, but make sure that the meat is fattier or you also add oil to the cabbage.
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Properly clean and wash the duck meat.
I prepared here the quantity for a double portion, for the next day as well, we are 4 people at the table :)
Season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides.
Take a deep baking sheet of about 20x30cm and put 500g of chopped sauerkraut.
Here I used my recipe for chopped sauerkraut, but you can also use the recipe for fermented whole cabbage.
Add another 500g of simple white cabbage, chopped - squeeze well with your hands with a pinch of salt.
Cut an onion into cubes and add it to the cabbage in the pan.
Pour over a large cup of tomato bouillon (the juice-like one).
Sprinkle with a little ground pepper and other spices, to taste.
Toss this mixture very well with your hands and spread evenly in the tray.
Arrange the thighs prepared in steps 1 and 2 on top.
Cover the pan with foil or a lid and place in the preheated oven at 200C for 1 hour.
After an hour, remove the foil, brush the thighs with some juice and fat from the tray.
Return the sheet to the oven, without the foil, for another hour.
Now the thighs will start to brown and the cabbage will cook more actively.
Every 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven and grease the thighs with the fat which is released in the tray.
This is what it looks like when it's ready. The duck is well browned and the cabbage is perfectly roasted, without juice in it, tender and soft.
Serve with mashed potatoes and some good red wine. The meat and the cabbage are very tender and soft.
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