On Thursday I headed out to the Vic Market at lunch time to gather the last of the ingredients I was missing for this dish, duck (key ingredient I couldn’t do without!) and Rice wine from the Asian supermarket across the road.
So at home after work I thought I was all prepared, opened up my cookbook ‘A Slice of Port Douglas' & read the first line of the recipe, ‘To prepare the duck, sprinkle salt onto the skin of the duck and refrigerate overnight, uncovered to draw out the moisture.’ Bugger, missed that line when I picked out the recipe, anyway really don’t like cooking on Fridays & wanted to get the dish done so thought I would skip part 1 as figured it wouldn’t make that much difference. Moved on to part 2, measured out my five spice, went to the cupboard for ginger & you guessed it NO BLOODY GINGER, checked the fridge & didn’t even have ginger in a jar. Contemplated going out to buy ginger, looked at clock, already after 7 & needed an hour of marinating, realised that unless I wanted to eat at midnight this dish was not to be done tonight, I was defeated! Sighed, salted the duck as per part 1 and scrounged up some steak & salad from the fridge for dinner instead.
Friday night now being all prepared after heading out at lunch time & buying my missing ginger I was ready to go & do it all according to the book. There were a few steps involved though none that had any degree of difficulty & the flavours were great. The couscous in particular I loved, the dates & sun dried tomatoes really stood out & gave it a unique flavour. Also the leeks were good though I didn’t really think they complimented the dish all that well, seemed like an odd side so would skip them if making again.
Marinated Duck Breast with Moroccan couscous, braised leeks & paprika oil – from Stephen ‘Fester’ Gates, Iron bar saloon restaurant/bar
4 duck breasts
½ cup sea salt
1 tbspn chinese five spice
2 tbspns ginger, grated
2 tbspns garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tspns rice wine
1 tbspn sugar
½ cup olive oil
4 leeks, white part only, washed & sliced
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup white wine
2 tbspns lime juice
cracked black pepper
1 ½ cups couscous
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbspn butter
2 bocconcini cheese, chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 large red chilli, seeded & finely chopped
½ dates, finely chopped
¼ semi-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ roasted pecans, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 tspns paprika
¼ cup olive oil
To prepare the duck, sprinkle salt onto the skin of the duck and refrigerate overnight, uncovered to draw out the moisture.
To make the marinade, place all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl & mix well. Remove the salt from the duck & add to the marinade, refrigerate for 1 hour. Place the duck on a greased tray & bake in a 160c oven for 20 minutes, increase to 180c & cook for a further 10 minutes until the skin is crispy.
To prepare the leeks, place all the ingredients in a baking dish & cook for approx 35 mins or until soft.
To make the couscous, place the couscous in a bowl, pour over the boiling stock, cover for 5 mins or until the liquid is absorbed. Mix with a fork to separate the granules, then add the rest of the ingredients & mix well to combine. Place the paprika & oil in bowl to combine.
To serve, place the duck on top of couscous with leeks on the side. Drizzle the oil around the plate.