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Monday, October 26, 2009

Roast Duck with Pomegranate Molasses and Rice Pilaf

This is a Ray McVinnie recipe, taken from Cuisine magazine. It can be done in one day but we cooked it over two days, first roasting the duck and then allowing it to cool down in the fridge over night. The sauce is incredibly rich and deeply flavoured and the pilaf is delicious and very easy to prepare. This method of cooking removes most of the fat from the duck without producing dry meat, the result is a tender, crispy skinned duck. One bird will easily serve four.

Roast Duck with Pomegranate Molasses and Rice Pilaf

1.6 kg duck
1 carrot and 1 meduium onion, both peeled and roughly chopped
1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
A 5cm piece of unpeeled ginger, chopped
The zest of two lemons
500mls of beef stock
750 mls of water
2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Rice Pilaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods, flattened slightly
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups well-washed basmati rice, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water then drained
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1/4 cup sultanas
12 dried apricots, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 200ÂșC. Prepare the duck by removing the head, wing tips and feet, and make a 'V' section cut in the tail area to completely remove the parson's nose and the oil glands, which can give an unpleasant gamey flavour to the duck. Rinse the duck inside and out and dry with paper towels. Place the carrot, onion, celery, garlic, ginger and the zest of one of the lemons into a roasting pan and put the duck on top, breast side down. Pour the stock and water around the duck and place in the oven. Roast for one hour then turn the duck on to its back and roast for another hour until very tender and well browned. Remove from the oven.Remove the duck from the pan. Strain the stock and reserve, discard the vegetables. Leave duck until it is cold enough to handle, or cool completely and refrigerate until needed. When you decide to proceed, cut the duck in half lengthways on either side of the backbone, which you discard. Cut each half into two portions so that you have two breasts and wings and two whole legs. Remove and discard the thick layer of fat from the stock. Reserve the stock, you should have about two cups. To serve the duck, put the four portions into a roasting pan, skin side up, with the stock and place in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the duck is very hot and the skin crispy. Remove the duck to a warm serving platter. Put the stock into a deep frying pan over high heat and add the pomegranate molasses and sugar. Bring to the boil and boil until syrupy. Pour the sauce over duck portions and sprinkle on the zest of the other lemon. If you want to proceed and serve the duck immediately after it is cooked, don't cool and portion it. Just keep the duck warm, skim the stock as soon as possible and make the sauce. Carve the duck at the table and serve the sauce in a bowl separately, with the pilaf on the side.

Rice Pilaf
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat and add the onion, carrot, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom pods and turmeric. Fry gently without browning until the onion is soft. Add the remaining ingredients, mix gently but well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, without uncovering, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat without uncovering and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and carefully fluff up the rice with a fork without mashing the rice grains.


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