Leg Quarters

A stop to shop in Sidney, BC is planned to provision Jupiter for her winter cruise.

Common Murres in formal winter attire

Whilst perusing offerings at a local grocery, duck leg quarters from Quebec catch chef’s eye. Robust winter beets are on offer, dark and dirty, brooching their fuscous greens. Exotic Floridian cara cara oranges with tiny labels proclaiming “I’m pink” promise juicy citrine sunshine to high latitude appetites. Battalions of scallions are upstanding on parade like green soldiers, banded brothers looking to desert. A roister of hibernal pea shoots, limbs entangled, are elbowing each other attempting to escape their packaged confinement.

All these find their way into the crew’s basket, and a plan takes root in chef’s fictive mind. Findings become fixings for vittles at Jupiter’s first cold and cimmerian anchorage.

A forgotten trove of curious pantry stores remain aboard Jupiter, abandoned after her summer sojourn: mandarin-infused white-balsamic from Salt Spring Island’s boho Saturday market nestles in the tray of condiments, dried porcinis hide within the “Food Pit”, and a broad-shouldered jar of chicken-bone broth loiters in a switched-off fridge. Leftover mashed potatoes from supper during the Time-of-No-Water beg to be delivered from their damaged reputation, tarnished by a bad night.

Winter Duck with Beet and Orange

Free the beets from the farm earth, then trim and wrap each individually in foil with a dab of butter and roast at 400° until knife tender. Cool and peel reserving liquid from each foil packet. Slice into wedges.

Wash, pat dry and season duck leg quarters with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Roast, covered, in a 350° oven for 90 minutes. Remove cover and increase the temperature to 400° for an additional 30 minutes to crisp the skin.

Meanwhile cast a few dried mushrooms into a pot of chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half. Remove mushrooms, chop finely, and return to the pan with a splash of sherry vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally until syrupy. Keep warm.

Whisk a couple of eggs in a bowl. Finely chop and add soldier scallions, and mashed potatoes. Stir to form a slurry then add flour just until mixture is thick enough to clump on a spoon. Pour some duck fat off the roasting legs into a hot skillet. Gently slide spoonfuls of potato mixture into the fat and spread this into cakes with a spatula. Cook over medium heat until crisp and golden, turning once.

Averill Creek Winery from Vancouver Island has the perfect accompaniment.

Whip up a vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil and mandarin infused vinegar. Whisk in reserved beet juice. Remove pith and peel from oranges with a sharp knife, slicing between membranes to obtain wedged sections. Toss orange and beets in dressing and allow to sit for fifteen minutes. Immediately before serving release some pea sprouts and permit them to roust amongst the beets.

To serve, heap salad to one side and place a hot potato pancake on each plate. Ladle warm sauce onto the plate and top with a crispy leg quarter, drizzling over any remaining sauce. Serve with a local Pinot Noir.

Gulls on logs are locally referred to as The Canadian Navy.


  1. Sally Seymour says:

    Is there anything you don’t do well beyond the expected? Good to hear you’re underway and obviously staying toasty.

  2. Dana Starr says:

    Gee, you guys are making me hungry! The duck legs, potato cakes, and beet salad look sumptuous. Bon Appetit! I love your Blog. So well done.

  3. fred says:

    Thanks for once again bringing all of us along for another unique Jupiter adventure complete with great visuals, commentary, and dining. You two are truly hardy sailors!

  4. Tom McFarling says:

    Ahoy, there. Say, you guys look like you’re havin’ a swell time. I’m brand-new here, or “on board” as you say. Just what kind o’ fine craft am I newly on board of? You’ve most likely disclosed this somewhere in the past, but as I say, I’m new to the neighborhood. She looks pretty comfy.

    I think I’ll sell my house and do just exactly what you’re doin’. Lookin’ forward to all the good ideas, mates. Thanks for all the new words and pretty pictures.

    Port Townsend

    • Hi Tom –
      We loved Port Townsend when we visited during a summer on Puget Sound. I hope you found our posts on your hometown: Passing Port to Port, and Boomers & Bivalves. Also, to learn all about the boat that you are now aboard (and we are delighted to have you along!) please see the About Us page on the website: https://jupitersway.com/about-us/

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