Thursday, November 12, 2020

Seared Duck Breast with Blood Orange and Star Anise

 By: The Food Hunter

This year why not put a different twist on your traditional holiday favorites. Duck breast is a red meat option that's as lean as chicken breast, yet so much more flavorful.  This year, starting on black Friday, you can purchase a Maple Leaf Farms Holiday Duck Package both online and at select stores. The package includes everything you need to make a scrumptious holiday meal for you and your loved ones.

The recipe below is inspired from Chef Ottolenghi and is sure to impress, while also easy and quick to prepare.

Seared Duck Breast with Blood Orange and Star Anise

2 duck breasts
1 tbsp fennel seeds
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp coarse sea salt
blood orange juice (from about 2 oranges), plus 2 whole blood oranges
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
18 star anise

Score the skin of each duck breast in 3 or 4 parallel incisions, without cutting into the meat. Repeat at a 90° angle to the other cuts to get square shaped incisions. Mix the fennel seeds, chilli flakes, cumin, black pepper and salt together, then rub them thoroughly all over the duck breasts with your hands. Place in a bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave to marinate for a few hours.

Using a small, sharp knife, trim off 1cm from the top and bottom of each orange. Standing them up, neatly follow the natural curves of each one with the knife to cut off the skin and white pith. Cut each orange horizontally into roughly 6 slices. Remove the pips, place the slices in a small bowl and set aside.

To sear the duck, thoroughly heat a large, heavy frying pan (one for which you have a lid). Place the duck breasts in it, skin-side down, and cook for 3 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes, then remove the duck from the pan and keep in a warm place.

Discard most of the fat from the frying pan and add the wine, vinegar, orange juice and star anise. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5–6 minutes, until reduced by about half. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Return the duck breasts to the pan and stir to coat them in the sauce. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 7 minutes.

Take the orange slices, plus any extra juice in their bowl, and place carefully next to the duck breasts. Cover again and simmer for another 3 minutes. By this time the meat should be medium-rare.

Remove the duck breasts from the sauce, place on a cutting board and leave to rest for 3–4 minutes. While you wait, check the sauce. It may need to be simmered a little longer to thicken it slightly. Taste again and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Slice each breast at an angle into pieces 1cm thick and place on serving plates. Pick the oranges from the sauce and arrange them on the plates with the duck. Pour some of the sauce on top and serve the rest on the side

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