Saturday, October 24, 2009
Spice-Rubbed Duck W/ Roasted Grapes & Kale
I love me some duck. It's absolutely amazing to be how people can say that it's too fatty or game-y. The fat is where the flavor is people! Stop counting calories and taste the flavor!! That's what food is all about right??? Adapted this from a recipe I found in the Oct. 2009 issue of Bon Appetit.
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fennel
3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 whole duck (or 4 small duck breasts)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
1 bunch kale, thick center stems removed, and leaves roughly chopped
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 lb. red seedless grapes, stemmed
Now I didn't get off work in time to make it to the butcher's to get pre-cut duck breasts, so I had to buy a whole duckling from the grocery store. This was actually more cost efficient to me, as it was only $12 for the whole duck, as opposed to the $20 something I would pay for 4 nicely cut breasts. Yeah, I would only get 2 breasts out of the duckling, but I couldn't let the rest of that meat go to waste so I used both thighs and legs also. And it was my first time ever cutting a whole duck. It was kind of something amazing, but that's for another day, let's get to cooking...
Grind the first 5 ingredients in a coffee grinder or spice mill. I don't see the sense in buying an extra appliance when 1 appliance doubles as two, so I love my coffee grinder for that.
Score your duck, skin only of course, in a diamond pattern. Sprinkle spice blend all over duck and massage into the meat and skin, but not too rough. You're supposed to cover and chill overnight, but I did it in the morning and cooked the duck later in the evening, so I'd say as long as you give it about 5-8 hours, it's sufficient. Make sure you let the duck sit at room temperature for 1 hour before you start cooking though.
Place 1 rack of your oven in the top third and 1 rack in the bottom third. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your garlic and saute until starting to slightly brown, about 3 minutes or so. Add your kale, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let it wilt a bit. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce your heat to low and cover. Cook until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Then uncover your pot and increase the heat to high and cook until most of broth is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Watch it carefully though because my kale almost burnt, but I keenly heard the first sizzle and quickly took it off the heat and added a tad bit of broth to save the day. Set the kale aside.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down, and cook until skin is brown and fat is rendered, about 8 minutes. Then place duck, skin side up, on baking sheet and place in oven. For medium rare, roast about 8 to 10 minutes. If you want it more done, then cook longer. Tent the duck with foil after taking it out of the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
In same skillet you used to brown duck, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat and add grapes. Roast in the oven until the skin starts to split, about 15 minutes.
Thinly slice your duck breasts, garnish with grapes, and serve alongside kale.
I made this duck the same day that we had out crazy cookoff with a bunch of our friends. We were still stuffed from lunch, but the duck was so worth it to eat, even when we really weren't that hungry. It left us feeling great inside and the duck was perfectly cooked. The grapes were a wonderful accompaniment and when you took a bite of the duck and the grapes at the same time, it was like a party in my mouth. Definitely a must try recipe for all the duck lovers out there! Enjoy!