Saturday, April 2, 2011
Roast Duck Maryland with Figs
It was Friday night and, after a brief foray at post-work drinks (aka the meat market), I escaped the press of suit-clad public servants getting noisily hammered at Realm, and went home for a night of cooking with my Mum. Mr M joined us with a couple of very lovely bottles of wine, and one of the most the deliciously spontaneous Friday nights of recent times ensured.
My mother has a wonderful butcher next to her office at the Mawson Shops, and she had very thoughtfully brought over some meat for my freezer while I was at work. She also happened to buy four figs, one for each of the duck marylands she also left in my fridge. It just seemed to make sense that we'd meet for a catch up over the roasting of the aforementioned duck and figs... and a glass of wine (or two, or more).
Roast Duck with Figs
- 4 duck marylands (these have both the leg and the breast attached, and the skin on)
- 2 tablespoons salt (I like Maldon salt)
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground juniper berries
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 figs (sliced in half)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used blood plum vinegar, but it's more difficult to find that the balsamic vinegar)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 6 large dried figs or 10 small dried figs
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Place the marylands skin-side up in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with a half tablespoon of salt on each. Mix the ground spices together and then sprinkle an equal part of the mix on each maryland (but save some for the figs). Finally place the figs, open side down, in between the duck pieces and drizzle with a small amount of the vinegar and a sprinkle of the spice mix over each.
When the oven is good and hot, pop the baking tray in. Leave for approximately 30-40 minutes, until the skin on top is golden and crisp. Some people may like their duck more pink, so that would require around 20-25 minutes in the oven, I should think.
While the duck is baking, it's time to make the sauce. Place the stock, Grand Marnier and figs on the stove top in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce until the sauce is thick and viscous. Remove from the heat and cover.
Now, when the duck is ready remove from the oven and place the duck and figs onto a platter and cover with foil to rest while you finish the sauce. Pop the saucepan back on the hob, and bring to a simmer again. Add a small amount of the pan juices from the duck baking tray. This should add colour and flavour to the sauce. Taste and then add salt if necessary. Now, strain into a sauce boat or jug, so you get the dried figs out of the mix.
Next, plate up the duck with the figs and steamed green beans (at least that's what we served with it). If you want it to be less salty, brush the salt from the top of the marylands before plating up. I would also suggest serving the duck with mashed potatoes, but I am a big fan of mashed potatoes. Drizzle the sauce over the top and get stuck in.