Duck breast with red onion, Szechuan pepper and dried apricot compote

Duck breast with red onion, Szechuan pepper and dried apricot compote

By
From
Kitchin Suppers
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

When I’m cooking at home, I always try to find really good alternatives to the time-consuming sauces that we prepare at the restaurant. This tasty compote is a good example – it balances the richness of the duck beautifully and can be prepared well in advance. The Szechuan pepper gives it a unique flavour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 duck breasts, about 220g each, skin on
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 red pepper
olive oil, for cooking
4 red onions, peeled and halved vertically
4 pak choi
2-3 pickled garlic cloves, sliced

Red onion and apricot compote

Quantity Ingredient
10g szechuan pepper
olive oil, for cooking
8 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
100g dried apricots, finely diced
1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
300ml Chicken stock

Method

  1. First make the compote. Tie the Szechuan pepper in a square of muslin. Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil, then the sliced onions. Cover and sweat gently for 2–3 minutes. Season with salt and add the dried apricots and pepper pouch. Sweat, covered, for a further 5–6 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the lemon zest and juice, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat right down and cook gently, uncovered, for 1 hour until reduced to a compote consistency. Discard the pepper pouch.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C. Score the skin of the duck breasts and season well with salt, rubbing it into the skin. Set aside.
  3. Spear the red pepper on a fork and turn over a gas burner on the hob until the skin is blackened all over. (Alternatively, scorch the pepper under a hot grill, turning as necessary.) Peel away the skin. Halve the pepper, remove the seeds, then cut into triangles. Keep warm.
  4. Heat a non-stick ovenproof frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and place the onion halves in the pan, cut side down. Sweat for a few minutes, then transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 8–10 minutes. Remove to a warm plate and separate the onion layers to make small onion cups. Keep warm.
  5. Heat a non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Place the duck breasts in the pan, skin side down, and cook for 4–5 minutes until the fat is well rendered. Turn the duck breasts skin side up and place the frying pan in the oven. Roast for 4–5 minutes until the duck is tender but still pink inside. Set aside to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, blanch the pak choi briefly in a pan of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain thoroughly.
  7. Spoon the onion and apricot compote onto warm plates. Halve or thickly slice the duck breasts and place on top of the compote. Garnish with the pickled garlic, red onion cups and red pepper. Serve with the pak choi.
Tags:
The Kitchin Restaurant
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