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Roasted Duck Breasts With Farro Risotto And Duck Confit


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  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ducks legs, thighs, and breasts cut from carcasses, and carcasses quartered
  • 4 cups rendered duck fat
  • 3 tablespoons chopped leek (white and pale green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup ruby Port
  • 6 cups water
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup farro (sold at some Italian markets and natural foods stores)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil plus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter - (1/4 stick)
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup assorted chopped nuts (such as pistachios, hazelnuts, and pecans)
  • 1 whole star anise*


Servings 4


Step 1

* Note: A brown star-shaped seed pod available at Asian markets and specialty foods stores and in the spice section of some supermarkets.

For Sauce: Mix first 5 ingredients and duck legs and thighs in bowl. Cover leg-thigh mixture and breasts and carcasses separately; chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Heat duck fat in medium ovenproof pot over medium heat to 200 degrees. Add duck leg-thigh mixture; transfer to oven and cook until meat falls from bones, about 2 hours. Allow duck confit to cool 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place duck carcasses in large ovenproof pot; roast uncovered until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer pot to stove top. Add leek and next 3 ingredients and sauté over medium-high heat until vegetables are lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add Port; boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add 6 cups water; boil gently for 30 minutes. Add peppercorns; boil broth 10 minutes. Strain broth; skim fat from surface. Boil broth in medium saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes. Whisk butter into sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill confit and sauce separately.)

Rewarm duck confit to melt fat; remove duck from fat. Cut meat from bones and add to sauce.

For Farro Risotto: Soak farro in cold water 20 minutes. Drain; rinse. Bring 8 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup oil and farro. Simmer 20 minutes. Drain in strainer and rinse. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté 1 minute. Add farro and wine. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth 1 cup at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed and farro is just tender, stirring frequently, about 14 minutes total. Stir in cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, Prepare Duck Breasts: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle duck breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck breasts, skin-side down; cook until skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn duck over. Cook 1 minute; remove from heat.

Bring honey to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add nuts and star anise; boil until honey is reduced to thick syrup, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Spoon honey-nut mixture onto duck breasts. Cook in oven about 4 minutes for medium-rare.

Rewarm duck confit sauce over low heat. Divide risotto among 4 plates. Using slotted spoon, remove duck meat from sauce and spoon over risotto. Slice breasts diagonally; arrange around risotto. Drizzle duck with confit sauce.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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