As I mentioned a couple of blog posts back, I’m always looking for new things to cook and to experiment with, however, inspiration has been a bit thin on the ground lately. Plus, we have been busy, so I have been thinking less about what we’re going to eat. We have eaten like Kings and Queens the past few days though, from homemade koftas, to garlic grilled lobster, to slow cooked beef. It has been wonderful to eat such tasty delights, and spend quality time together.
We went to our local butcher on Saturday to get a couple of bits and we noticed they had some smoked duck breasts. We had to give them a go as they’re defintiely something you rarely see! It was just a question of what to do with them. My first thought was to cook them with some Asian flavours, but as there’s so many duck dishes out there already, I wasn’t sure that it would be interesting enough. It’s definitely too cold to use them in a duck salad – we wanted something hearty. So I settled on risotto. Which was actually quite risky as neither Tom or myself are big lovers of rice and mushroom risottos rarely set the world on fire. I’ve never made a mushroom one before so I was praying it would be tasty.
It didn’t disappoint.
This sounds really big headed but the risotto was SO bloody tasty, we could have eaten that on its own! It’s also great for a meat-free meal. Risottos are easy enough to do – you just need to have the patience with them and balance your flavours well. This recipe serves 4.
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 50 minutes – 1 hour.
- 1 smoked duck breast per person.
- 300g arborio rice.
- 750ml white wine (I just used a cheap bottle).
- 100ml single cream.
- 300g mixed exotic mushrooms roughly chopped.
- 1 large brown onion finely diced.
- 1 tsp lazy garlic.
- Large knob of butter.
- Handful of fresh sage finely diced.
- Bunch of fresh thyme.
- Handful of fresh parsley finely chopped.
- 1 tsp dried tarragon.
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard.
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
- 100g freshly grated parmesan.
- 200ml vegetable stock.
- Salt and pepper.
- In a large frying pan, heat up the butter over a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Gently fry for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Next, add all of the herbs and the mushrooms. Stir thoroughly and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the mustard, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, then add the rice. Ensure all the ingredients are mixed together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Now, gradually add the white wine. Pour in about 50ml at a time and allow the rice to soak it up and cook in the liquid. This process will take around 25 minutes. You will need to keep stirring as the rice will stick and burn to the bottom of the pan otherwise.
- When you have used all of the rice, try a bit of the risotto to see if you’re happy with the flavours. If you need to add anything else to balance them to your tastebuds, do it now.
- Slowly add the vegetable stock and your rice should just about be cooked.
- In the meantime, heat up a griddle pan for the duck breasts. Score the fat and season with salt and pepper. I used beef dripping to cook the meat, but you can use whatever you have to hand.
- Make sure the pan is hot before placing the duck in, skin side down. Cook on each side for 4 minutes, before resting for the same amount of cooking time.
- While the meat is resting, add 3/4 of the parmesan to the risotto, along with the cream. Stir through thoroughly and remove from the heat.
- When the meat has rested enough, slice the breast and serve on a bed of risotto with a glass of chilled white wine.