One of Simone’s most favourite meals is duck, cooked any way. This recipe is especially good, using duck breasts; combining them with the fruitiness of pineapple and pomegranate, while providing crunch with the cashew nuts. The nuts and fruit beautifully offset the rich flavour of the duck. Serves 2
- 2 x good quality duck breasts
- 75 g cashew nuts
- 20 ml soy sauce
- 15 ml honey
- ½ small fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
- 20 ml olive oil
- 50 g castor sugar
- Preheat oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/Gas mark 4.
- Prepare duck breasts: trim away any sinew and excess fat from around the breast; leave the skin intact; score with a sharp knife across the grain. Season with salt.
- Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place the duck breasts, skin-side down, in the dry pan. Remove any fat from the pan while cooking.
- When the skin is golden brown (about 3 minutes), turn breasts over, and seal for a further 1 – 2 minutes.
- Transfer the duck breasts to the preheated oven. Cook a further 4 – 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven; place the duck breasts on a cooling rack to cool down. While still warm, cut into slices across the breasts.
- Mix cashew nuts with soy sauce and 15 ml honey. Place onto a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes; set aside. When cool, break nuts into smaller pieces.
- Remove the core from the pineapple wedges. Slice into 1.5 cm slices.
- Place a frying pan over medium-high heat; add olive oil, and sear pineapple pieces until lightly golden. Set aside.
- Place the sugar into a dry-frying pan over medium heat. The sugar will melt, and turn a light caramel colour. Remove from the heat, and add pineapple juice, coriander, cayenne pepper, star anise, 15 ml honey, and any juice from the pomegranates. Mix well, and set aside to cool for 25 – 30 minutes, for flavours to infuse. Then strain the sauce.
- Combine the duck slices, seared pineapple, strained caramel sauce, and the pomegranate seeds. Mix gently to blend the flavours. 12. Arrange watercress or rocket onto plates. Place the duck mixture attractively on top. Sprinkle with chopped cashew nuts, and drizzle over some of the caramel sauce.
- 75 ml pineapple juice
- 2 ml ground coriander
- 2 ml cayenne pepper
- 1-star anise
- 15 ml honey
- ½ pomegranate, seeds removed, retain juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 bag watercress or rocket
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