Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Seared Duck Breasts with Roast Duck Wings and Rhubarb Compote

Earlier in the week, I bought a large free-range duck to make for dinner with our friends Tanya and Ricardo, but then disaster struck - they couldn't make it. What on earth am I going to do with a whole 2.5kg duck, with only Mrs Ribeye and I to eat it?

Normally, I would say 'all the more for us', but with spring in the air and our summer holiday to Nice booked, we have decided to cut back on the grub in favour of being able to shoehorn ourselves into last year's swimwear.

So, I decided to make the duck into a two-meal bird.

Firstly, I made my Duck Confit, but because the recipe is a two day process, I couldn't eat it straight away. So, secondly, I decided to pan-sear the duck breasts and roast the wings for a bit of a gnaw. I ideally wanted to make that retro classic Duck a l'Orange (recipe to follow), but because I didn't have any Seville oranges, or even a normal orange plus a lime (which would have equally sufficed), I had to create a compote out of what would have been the Rhubarb Crumble and custard dessert ingredients destined for Tanya and Ricardo's cancelled dinner extravaganza.

The rhubarb sauce with the duck was incredible! Slightly sweet and sour, to offset the richness and gaminess of the duck and so easy to make. Simply roast the rhubarb in a hot oven with sugar and cinnamon for 20 minutes and break it up with a fork. Perfect.

I served the duck with Kai Lan (Chinese broccoli) in oyster sauce and a enjoyed a delicious carb-free meal. Oh, with the custard for dessert. Waste not want not.

A whole duck at my local Asian cash and carry (restaurant suppliers, but open to the public) cost me an incredible £4.50, and the rhubarb was 99p for a huge bunch, which meant that this entire meal only stood me in for £1.50 per serving.

Serves 2


2 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 4cm lengths
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
50ml water
2 duck breasts, skin scored at 1cm intervals
2 duck wings
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of thyme
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Pinches of salt and pepper

Kai Lan in Oyster Sauce, to serve

Preheat oven to 200c. Place the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon and water in a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the rhubarb from the oven and break it up with a fork and transfer to a serving dish. Coat the duck wings and the flesh side of the duck breasts in the oil, garlic, thyme and seasoning and place the wings in the oven to cook for an hour. In the meantime, sear the breasts, skin side down in a blisteringly hot pan. Transfer the breasts to the same pan as the wings for the final ten minutes of cooking time and then take all of the duck portions out of the oven to rest. After 10 minutes resting, cut the breasts into 1cm thick slices and serve with the wings, rhubarb sauce and Kai Lan.

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