Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Seared Duck Breasts with Blood Orange and Star Anise

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not crazy about the cooking method for the duck itself. I prefer a bit of a crispier skin with more fat rendered off (a low and slow sear) and the duck breast itself was a little bit overcooked. That being said, the rub and sauce combo was outstanding. Fennel steals the show and the chilies give it just a little bit of heat.

One year ago: Maghrebi Veal Meatballs with Spinach and Chickpeas

Seared Duck Breasts with Blood Orange and Star Anise (from Ottolenghi)

4 duck breasts, 180 - 200g each
2 tbsp fennel seeds
pinch of dried chili flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp coarse sea salt
240 ml blood orange juice
4 whole blood oranges
180 ml red wine
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
16 star anise
6 dried chilies

1. Score the skin of each duck breast in 3 or 4 parallel incisions. Repeat at a 90 degree angle.
2. Mix fennel, chili flakes, cumin, black pepper, and salt together and rub on duck breasts. Marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.
3. Trim off 1cm from top and bottom of each orange. Standing them up, trim off skin and pith. Cut each orange horizontally into 6 slices. Remove pips, place slices in bowl, and set aside.
4. Heat a large frying pan. Sear duck skin-side down for 3 minutes or until skin is golden brown and crisp. Flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Set aside.
5. Discard most of fat from frying pan and add wine, vinegar, orange juice, and star anise. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 - 6 minutes until reduced by half.
6. Return duck to pan and stir to coat with sauce. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes.
7. Add dried chiles and orange slices. Simmer for 3 more minutes.
8. Remove duck breasts and let rest for 3 - 4 minutes. Reduce sauce further if necessary.
9. Slice breasts into 1 cm thick slices. Serve with oranges to the side and sauce poured over duck.

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