Duck Baklava

At NYC’s Nerai Executive Chef Chris Christou’s duck baklava is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Whether shared as an appetizer or enjoyed as a main entrée the dish is so different than the typical duck plate and yet always cooked to perfection that even those who aren’t crazy about duck end up loving it.

Duck meat is cooked and with a mixture of earthy seasonings rolled in single sheets of filo, brushed with duck fat and then baked. The result is a tender, savory pastry-like meal that doubles as brunch or dinner. Perfect for those chilly fall days.

Duck Baklava
Recipe by Executive Chef Chris Christou of Nerai

Yield 3


For the cure:
6 duck legs
25g rock salt
2 bay leaves
10g black peppercorns
10g coriander seeds
5 sprigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves

For the confit:
Duck fat to cover the legs

Duck filling:
4 chopped shallots
25g chopped parsley
25g chopped chives
sherry vinegar and salt to taste
filo pastry

Rub the duck legs thoroughly with all the cure ingredients and let cure for 4 hours.

Rinse the duck legs under cold running water, but save the garlic, thyme and bay leaves for the confit.

Melt down the duck fat and pour over the duck legs to just cover them. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and slowly cook the duck legs in a 230 degree Fahrenheit oven until the meat falls off the bone, around about 3 hours.

Once cooked, shred the meat discarding skin and bones.

Add the chopped shallots, parsley and chives and season with sherry vinegar, salt and pepper.

Brush a single sheet of filo with the duck fat, add a tablespoon of the duck filling and roll the the filo around the filling like a cigar.

Repeat this process until your filling is complete. Place your duck rolls in a 4″ baking pan, brush them with the remaining fat, and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 mins or until golden brown.

Let rest for 20 mins at room temperature and serve.