This air fryer duck legs recipe is the easy gourmet dinner shortcut you didn't know you needed in your life! In less than 20 minutes you can make divinely succulent duck fit for date night, the holidays, or any occasion! Make a few easy air fryer sides for a well-rounded meal with little to no effort!
The simple and succulent air fryer duck legs you need to make today!
There’s something about making duck that feels so incredibly sophisticated. This recipe is easy-to-make and a personal favorite of mine for date night or any special occasion. My personal hack to a great dinner!
With a few basic ingredients and minimal prep time, you have a delicious meal in under 30 minutes. Utilizing an air fryer, salt & pepper, and duck legs, you can snap your fingers and have a special dinner in no time!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Super Easy! The air fryer does all the work for you. All you have to do is add the duck legs in and set a timer!
Only 3 Ingredients! This recipe only has 3 ingredients, making it a breeze to throw together.
Outstanding Flavor! Duck has a rich and delicious flavor similar to red meat.
All you need is a couple duck legs and some salt and pepper. While we prefer to use kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste, you can use whatever you have on hand.
- 2 Duck Legs – Rinse your duck legs and pat them dry.
- Kosher Salt – This is optional but highlights the duck’s amazing flavor and helps to draw out moisture.
- Cracked Black Pepper – As much or as little as you like.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
Duck legs are similar to red meat in texture and taste so seasoning them is optional. Like most red meat, there are a variety of herbs and seasonings you can add that will compliment their flavor.
Thyme – This herb adds a fresh flavor to the duck.
Chinese Five Spice – This is a favorite seasoning for duck and adds depth of warm flavor.
Garlic Powder – In my opinion, you can never have too much garlic and it goes with everything! Pair this with lemon zest to add some citrus, another flavor that belongs with duck!
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
You will need your handy dandy air fryer and a sharp knife for this recipe and that’s it. It doesn't get any simpler!
- Prep. Start by turning on your air fryer and preheating it to 300°F (150°C). Then, rinse your 2 duck legs in cool water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Use a sharp knife to prick the skin at an angle (but do not pierce the meat- *see note).
- Season. Season your duck legs liberally with the kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Place the duck legs into the air fryer with a bit of space between them so they cook evenly.
- Fry. Cook for 10-12 minutes then increase the temperature to 400°F (205°C) for an additional 5-8 minutes to crisp the skin.
- Rest. Remove them from the air fryer and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you desire a more sophisticated presentation, garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. I love keeping it elegant, yet simple, by serving the duck legs on a bed of vermicelli rice with some baked bacon wrapped asparagus. Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- For crispy skin, prick it before cooking! Pricking the skin of the duck (but not the meat) is important to get that crispy skin. It helps the fat render out and not get trapped under the skin making the meat soggy.
- Work in batches if necessary! Standard air fryers can hold 2 duck legs and an XL fryer can hold 3.
- I only made 1 duck leg for myself when testing this recipe because I was cooking a full set of duck legs in the oven for duck confit. I enjoyed it as an easy, delicious snack while I waited for them to cook.😊
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Leftover duck can be kept in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Duck legs can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap them in freezer paper or foil and place in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating Air Fryer Duck Legs
To reheat your leftover duck legs, sprinkle them with a touch of broth or water and wrap them in foil. Place in an air fryer that has been preheated to 350°F (175°C) and cook for 3-5 minutes.
😋 More Easy Air Fryer Dinners!
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Air Fryer Duck Legs
- 2 duck legs
- Kosher salt (optional- to taste)
- cracked black pepper (optional -to taste)
- Start out with preheating your air fryer to 300°F (150°C) then rinse your duck legs under cool water and pat them dry with paper towels. Use a sharp knife to prick the skin at an angle, being careful not to pierce the meat. (*See note).2 duck legs
- Season liberally with kosher salt and cracked black pepper, if desired. Then place your duck legs into the air fryer basket with space between them so they cook evenly.Kosher salt, cracked black pepper
- Air fry at 300°F (150°C) for 10-12 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400°F (205°C) to crisp the skin for an additional 5-8 minutes.
- Remove the duck legs from the air fryer and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Pricking the skin of the duck (but not the meat) is important in getting crispy skin. It gives the rendered fat a way to escape so it is not trapped under the skin, making it soggy.
- Though I only made 1 duck leg when cooking this recipe, most standard air fryers can hold 2 duck legs. An XL air fryer can hold 3. Work in batches if making more.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!