4 duck legs, trimmed of excess fat Salt and pepper to taste 1 large onion 1/2 pound carrots 2 celery stalks 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade.
1. Put duck legs, skin side down, in a skillet large enough to accommodate all ingredients comfortably; turn heat to medium. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown duck legs carefully and evenly, sprinkling them with salt and pepper as they cook. Meanwhile, peel and dice vegetables.
2. When legs are nicely browned, turn them over and sear for just a minute or two. Remove to a plate; remove all but enough fat to moisten vegetables. Add vegetables to skillet along with some salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Return duck legs to pan, skin side up, and add stock; it should come about halfway up duck legs but should not cover them. Turn heat to high, bring to a boil, and transfer to oven.
3. Cook for 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees. Continue to cook, undisturbed, until duck is tender and liquid reduced, at least another half hour. The duck is done when a thin-bladed knife pierces the meat with little resistance. When done, duck will hold nicely in a warm oven for another hour. Serve hot.