Appeasing a grumpy hubby with Garlic and Rosemary Duck Legs and Mushroom Gnocchi with Thyme


It’s been a busy week so I never got the chance to write about my tasty gnocchi recipe I created last Sunday. I have only fairly recently developed a serious love affair with these delightful little dumplings of potatoey yumminess.

I remember the first time I had gnocchi we were in a restaurant in Knightsbridge with a friend and her husband. I had no idea how to pronounce it so probably said something like Notchi, and the handsome Italian waiter corrected me and said NNYOKKE! I remember us all practising the word and giggling to the waiter's aggrieved look. Lately I have loved a bit of nnyokke every once in a while, so Sunday I decided to do some with the duck legs I was going to roast. Not the lightest possible combo, but we'd had a long walk by the river so were in need of sustenance.

Mushroom and thyme gnocchi

It was a sunny Sunday. Husband and I decided to go for a walk by the riverside in Chiswick. Husband wanted me to drive because he’d recently had a haemorrhoid operation, which I’m sure he's excited  for me to broadcast here. He was advised not to drive and was on heavy medication and remarkably cranky.  I don’t mind driving generally, but he wanted us to take his car. I don’t like to drive it because it’s really nice and new and I’m only third party insured for it and a pretty crap driver. Honestly I can’t understand why he would let me anywhere near the steering wheel insured or not.

So anyway I finally agreed as he wouldn’t budge. It is a small distance and even I am unlikely to completely wreck a car in that time and distance. But when I sat behind the wheel I saw a spider scuttle across the dashboard. I jumped out of the car and told him that I couldn't drive, what if the spider jumped on me, there were no guarantees of what I would do. Husband has never completely understood my fear of spiders which I think is a bit rich coming from someone who screams like a girl if he sees a worm. He thought I made the spider story up just because I didn’t want to drive (actually that would have been quite clever- wish I had come up with that) and by this time the spider of course was nowhere to be seen.

We argued all the way to Chiswick while husband was driving. By the time we got there we had established that I was hysterical and also a rubbish driver, which was no newsflash and that he was a cantankerous old ass, which I think came as a bit of a surprise to him.There was little need for further discussion so we had a quiet and stiff walk by the river me walking 100 feet ahead. I actually lost him at some point and for a moment thought good riddance. But then I realised we were both being silly and that ahead there was a really nice pub with tables outside on the riverbank where we could have a companionable Sunday drink in the sunshine, so I went back and found him and we made up.

I was having lunch with a friend this week and we were talking about love and what true love is. I told her about our Sunday walk by the riverside and said that maybe the difference is that in any relationship or marriage there comes a time you want to push your husband into the river but if you really love him you don’t want him to drown.

Oven roast duck legs with Garlic and rosemary

Garlic and rosemary duck legs

4 Duck legs
Sea salt
6-8 cloves of Garlic
4 sprigs of Rosemary
Herbes de Provence

So back at home husband happily sitting in front of premier league football with a cuppa in his hand I shoved the duck legs in our newly prepared oven. I had salted the legs in the morning and now just rinsed and dried them.

I placed the crushed whole cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary in the bottom of an oven dish. I placed the duck legs on top, sprinkled them with black pepper and my own herbes de provence mix

I then baked the legs in a 190C oven for 2 hours, or I think it was less because we were hungry, but the legs were beautifully soft.

Recipe: Mushroom and thyme gnocchi (serves 4)

1 yellow or red onion
3 garlic cloves
300g mushrooms
2 tbsp of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
½ cup of white wine
1/3 cup water 
500g gnocchi

Cook the gnocchi according to the pack instructions if you are using shop bought which I did. I can see how doing them from scratch might be fulfilling and I will do that in the future.

Heat the oil in a separate pan. Saute the chopped onion for a few minutes until translucent. Add pressed garlic and sliced mushroom. I had shiitake and chestnut mushrooms, but use whatever you can get your hands on, the wilder the better I always think when it comes to mushroom. Add the fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper.

When the mushroom are softened add the white wine and let boil a while, then add the water.Add the drained gnocchi. If you would like it creamy you could add a splash of cream, sour cream or yoghurt, but it is perfectly lovely without. I just topped it with shavings of parmesan and some fresh thyme.

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  1. I loved this recipe and I made it at home, I was looking for a page where they sold fresh duck legs and I found a page where I bought it online and it was delicious!

    Highly recommended!

    link text