Sassafras Duck


Sassafras Duck
  • 2 x 250g duck breast, skin on
  • 4 cardamon pods, shelled & crushed
  • 1tbsp sassafras/file powder
  • pinch salt and ground pepper
  • large pinch fresh thyme leaves
  • Turkish aubergine pilau:
  • glug olive oil
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp currants, soaked in warm water
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tomatoes, de-seeded, fine chopped
  • 1 small bunch dill leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup short or long-grian rice, rinsed
  • half a lemon
  • good pinch salt and pepper
  • Fig compote:
  • 20 dried figs, chopped into sixths
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • thumb-size bit of peeled ginger, grated
  • 8 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  1. Duck: Mix dry ingredients, rub the meat all over, leave covered in fridge for 30mins (minimum) and pan fry.
  2. Rice: Peel vertical stripes out of the skin of the aubergine, half it lengthways and chop into bite-sized chunks. Soak in salted water, covered, in the fridge, for 30mins (minimum). Warm oil in a heavy pan on a medium heat, add pine nuts and brown, add onion and soften 3-4mins. Add currants and coriander seeds, cook for 2mins. Add mint, cinnamon and sugar, stir well. Stir in tomatoes and dill. Add rice, stir well, cover with boiling water, simmer 12mins stirring occasionally until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, cover with a warm damp tea towel and allow to steam for 10mins. In a separate pan, heat enough vegetable oil to cover base. Drain aubergine, fry until browned. Remove onto kitchen roll, pat dry and stir through rice. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon, garnish with pomegranate kernels and mint.
  3. Fig compote: Add all ingredients to a saucepan, cover with 500ml water and bring to boil. Simmer for approx 20mins (water will start to reduce and thicken). Cool in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.


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