I love duck breast cooked briefly to pink, but this slow smoked version was truly delicious writes Sandra Tate …
Curing and smoking the duck breasts
Choose plump, meaty duck breasts. Using a sharp knife make diagonal incisions in diamond pattern in the skin of the breasts and then rub them with a mix of 30g salt and 30g brown sugar – mainly on the meat side. Leave for an hour then rinse and pat dry. Lay the duck breasts skin side up over a scattering of fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs on a Bradley wire rack. Fill the stack with oak bisquettes and start at 80°C – once heated place the breasts in the smoker over a drip tray and smoke for 2 hours, then raise the temperature to 100°C and smoke until the core temperature of the breasts is 72°C. Remove, allow to cool and then wrap and chill.
Smoked Duck Breast & Fresh Fig Tart with Red Currant Relish
The slow smoking treatment renders the duck breasts smoky, sweet and mouth wateringly tender.
Ingredients for 4
2 large, plump, smoked duck breasts
4 ripe fresh figs
for the tart case:
250g ready made all butter puff pastry
for the red currant relish :
2tbsp red currant jelly
3tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C for fan assisted).
Roll the chilled puff pastry to a rectangle and the thickness of 4mm. Cut into 4 rectangles and lay on baking parchment on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is risen and golden. Remove and, using a sharp knife, lift the top off each rectangle. Place the base of each onto awaiting plates.
2 While the pastry cooks, remove the herbs from the duck breasts and discard then thinly slice the meat. Set aside. Trim the fresh figs and thinly slice also and set aside. Place the red currant jelly, vinegar and water in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon until the jelly has melted and you have a sticky sauce.
3 Divide the duck and fig slices between the tarts, interleaving them as you go then tilt the pastry 'lid' and sit it diagonally across the tart. Surround the tart with some drops of the redcurrant relish and dress with some wild rocket leaves. Serve.