Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sugar & Spice and all things nice

Week 38 of the cookbook challenge was spice week.  Even though I love spice in all forms I had a difficult time deciding what to make.  I didn't want a curry as I'd done my Sri Lankan dish just recently & didn't want a cake as have been over doing it a bit lately.  When I found this recipe for duck it sounded perfect, love duck & the spice mix was a bit different to anything I usually cook with.  The mix actually gave the duck a really lovely sweet flavour that went perfectly with the parsnip puree.  My mum had dropped off some home grown beets which I made a nice salad with & did some roast spuds to keep the kiddies happy, fantastic meal & really quite special for a weeknight.

Sugar and spice crusted duck with parsnip puree - Jill Dupleix - Good Living Winter

4 duck breasts
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp juniper berries
1 tspn cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
Sea Salt and Pepper
600g parsnips, peeled and chopped
Brown sugar
1 tbspn butter
grated nutmeg
50ml milk

Preheat oven to 200c.  Score the skin of the duck in a diamond pattern.  Crush the peppercorns, juniper berries, cumin and caraway seeds and 1 tspn salt and place on a plate.  Gently press the skin into the spices.

Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan and cook the duck skin side down for 5-6 minutes over a gently heat until crisp.  Turn once & cook for 3 minutes.  Pour off the fat as it renders to prevent it burning.

Cook the parsnip in simmering salted water for 15 minutes until tender.

Transfer the duck to the oven, skin side up, scatter with brown sugar and bake for 10 minutes, then rest.  Drain the parsnip and puree with butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and sufficient milk to make it smooth.

Carve the duck thickly and serve on the puree.


April @ My Food Trail said...

The sugar and spice crust sounds interesting and that duck looks perfectly cooked!

Anonymous said...

Looks delish...

James Harris said...

Yeah! Not enough big plates of meat on food blogs. I've started going down the pretty fruit route but you've made me realise there's not much better than duck, lamb, beef, cooked to perfection.

I shall be dining on duck! What do juniper berries taste like? I'm not sure theyre that common here.

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Ange said...

Thanks guys and yes it was pretty good if I do say so myself.

James, we buy dried Juniper berries over here, they give the spice mix a sweet flavour

Anonymous said...

Hi James, Juniper berries are what gin is made from...probably taste similar fresh, I would think! :O)