I should have followed Elaine's suggestion to rub the marinade only on the duck meat, instead of all over it because the marinade made the skin to be burned-like black when seared. Don't get me wrong, it still tasted wonderful but it would be prettier for the picture. I served this with a side of stir-fried kale cooked with duck-fat and roasted baby potatoes. It was a great meal to close out the year 2009.
2 Duck Breast, with skin intact
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
Chinese Five Spiced Sauce:
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/8 teaspoon star anise
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 cup of chicken broth
2 teaspoon of duck fat, reserved from duck breast
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
- Crush cumin with mortar and pestle until powdery fine. In a small bowl, mix well the cumin along with Chinese five-spice powder, honey, soy sauce and tamarind juice until it becomes a thick paste.
- Make small diagonal slits on the duck skin, in a criss-cross pattern at one-inch intervals. Be careful not to cut through to the meat.
- Season the duck breast with salt and pepper and rub the seasoning paste on the meat of the duck and not the skin. Let the duck breast marinate for at least one hour at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet on the stove until really hot. Place duck breasts in the skillet skin side down and sear for about five minutes, just until the skin is well browned. Remove the duck breasts from the skillet.
- Reduced heat to medium and pour all the fat out of the skillet. Return the duck breasts to the skillet skin side up and cook for another five minutes.
- Remove the duck breasts onto a cutting board and cover it with some aluminum foil to let it rest for 10 minutes.
- In the same skillet, add two teaspoon of the duck fat and the crushed garlic. Saute until the oil is fragrant and then add in the chicken broth, star anise, brown sugar, five spiced powder and thyme. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan for the duck bits & fat, let the sauce boil until it is reduced by half and then strain the sauce.
- To serve, slice the duck breasts on an angle, into slices a quarter to a half-inch thick and serve with some sauce.