RECIPE: Duck Breast, Kumara Noodles and Pea Mash

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If you aren’t a duck convert, this duck breast, kumara noodles and pea mash recipe will surely leave you ducking down to the local butcher for more.

Many people shy away from duck because of the high fat content and a fear of not knowing how to cook it.Well fear no more – duck is actually very easy to cook (the fat protects the meat from drying out far more than chicken) and if the correct technique is used, you actually render out most of the fat out of the dish in the cooking process.

It should also be pointed out that duck fact actually has a higher mono-unsaturated (good fat) content that saturated (not so good fat). Throw in some innovative and delicious home-made kumara (sweet potato) noodles and an easy to make pea mash into the mix and you have a protein packed, nutritious, delicious meal.

To make the kumara (use sweet potato if you can’t get kumara – they are essentially the same thing) you will need a spiralizer or a spirooli. If you don’t own one of these, just use buckwheat noodles instead. They will be equally delicious in this recipe. But if you have a spare $50 I strongly suggest you buy a spiralizer or spirooli – they will transform the way you eat your veges!

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Ingredients (serves two):

  •  2 duck breasts
  • 1 medium kumara (or half sweet potato – approx 200g)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup stock
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 2 star anise
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 1 red chilli (mild or hot depending on preference)
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • salt
  • pepper

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Method:

How to cook duck breast:

slice through the skin of the duck (not quite all the way to the flesh) about 2cm apart.

You can skip this step if you wish, but trust me, it will result in even crispier skin. Bring a pot of water to the boil.  Using a pair of tongs, submerge the breast into the boiling water skin side down. Only submerge the skin and not the flesh. Leave in the boiling water for 1 minute. Then pat the skin dry with a paper towel.

Lavishly sprinkle both sides of the duck breast with salt and pepper – be particularly generous on the skin side.

Heat up a good pan (cast iron if possible) and add a little bit of oil. Make sure the pan and oil are hot before adding the duck breast skin side down.

Fry the duck breast skin side down for 8 minutes on a medium heat. Keep draining the pan of the duck fat into a bowl as you go – we will use some of this fat later on, so don’t throw it down the sink. Then turn the breast over and fry the duck breast meat side down for another 2 minutes. Then put the duck breast into a 150°C pre-heated over and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Leave to rest for 10 minutes minimum before slicing.

Kumara noodles:

Kumara are New Zealand varieties of sweet potato that are smaller but similar tasting to most other varieties of sweet potato.

In a spiralizer or sirooli turn your peeled kumara or sweet potato into noodles – if you don’t have a spiralizer or spirooli just cook up some buckwheat noodles. Put the kumara noodles into a pot of boiling water and bring back to the boil. As soon as the water begins to boil take the nooldes off the heat, strain and run under cold water. This will keep them firm and stop them going mushy.

Heat up a good frying pan (preferably cast iron) on low. Add the black sesame seeds and stir occasionally to stop them burning. Dry toast the black sesame seeds for 5 minutes and then put aside in a bowl to cool.

Slice up the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry off in 4 tbsp of duck fat (you can do this in the same pan as you just toasted the sesame seeds in). Cook on a medium heat until the ginger turns golden brown.

Turn the heat of and add the kumara noodles and sesame seeds, along with the tamari (wheat-free soy sauce) or soy sauce. Mix together and serve.

Pea mash:

Juice the orange into a pot and add the stock, along with the star anise. Turn on the stove to a medium heat and reduce the stock and juice until it has reduced by half.

Put the frozen peas into the pot of boiling water (you can use the same one as the dipped the duck breast if you wish). Leave for 30 seconds or until they are warmed through.

Add the stock reduction (with the star anise now removed), peas and 4 tablespoons of duck fat (use butter instead if you wish) together and blend until smooth. Season the mash as you wish.

To serve twirl the kumara noodles with a fork and put onto the plate. Put a bit of mash down next to the noodles and place the rested duck breast on top of the pea mash. The star anise and orange flavour in the peas go perfectly with the duck and the asian style kumara noodles only add an extra flavour of the orient.

And there you have it – delicious, fusion style duck breast, kumara noodles and pea mash.

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