Pomegranate

Roast Duck with Pomegranate-Honey-Orange Glaze

Roast Duck with Pomegranate-Honey-Orange Glaze

Roasted Duck

I’d had my eyes on Martha Stewart’s roasted duck recipe for the longest time and finally had a chance to make it this Sunday. It turned out great and looking exactly as it looked in Martha Stewart’s book where I got the recipe. And it was super delicious! The duck roasted slowly in the oven with its fat slowly rendering and flavoring the meat and yielding a crisp skin. When it was cooked, I glazed it with a sweet and tangy sauce made with pomegranate molasses, honey and orange juice – roasted the bird some more until it was golden and shining and calling our names. Then I caramelized lemon and orange slices in some of the sweet and tangy sauce and served them with the duck to squeeze onto. Delicious! Try it too.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a wonderful day celebrating!

Roasted Duck

Glazed with pomegranate molasses, honey and orange juice – this duck is delicious!

Roasted Duck

Roast Duck with Pomegranate-Honey-Orange Glaze

From “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”

Serves 2 to 3

For Duck:
1 whole Pekin duck (5 1/2 – 6 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Glaze:
1/4 cup mild-flavored honey
1/4 cup pomegranate paste/molasses (narsharab in Azerbaijan)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For Garnish:
1 orange and 1 lemon, each cut into eigths
Flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional)

Directions:

Prepare duck: Heat oven to 300F (150C). Remove neck, heart, gizzards, and any excess fat from cavity and cut away excess skin from the neck area. Rinse duck under cold water and dry thoroughly inside and out. With a very sharp knife, score the skin over the breast in a crosshatch pattern. Cut diagonally into the skin, making sure not to cut into the flesh. Prick the skin with the tip of the knife all over, especially in the fattiest areas (this will ensure the best rendering for crisp skin). Season with salt and pepper inside and out. Tie legs together with kitchen twine and fold wing tips behind duck’s back.

Preparing Duck for Roasting

Roast: Place duck breast side up on a V-shaped rack set in a deep roasting pan and roast 1 hour. Remove duck and prick the skin over the breast and the fatty deposits around the thigh area with a sharp knife, then turn it over, so breast side is down, and roast for 1 hour more, spooning fat out of pan as needed. Turn duck over again and prick skin in any spots that aren’t rendering as quickly as others, then roast another hour. Prick the skin, turn breast side down, and roast until almost all of the fat has rendered from under skin and duck is cooked through, about 1 hour more. (Total roasting time should be about 4 hours.)

Roast Duck

Meanwhile, make glaze: Combine honey, pomegranate paste, and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

Glaze duck and crisp skin: Once duck has finished cooking, increase oven temperature to 400F (205C), turn duck breast side up, and roast 10 minutes. Brush with some of the glaze, and continue to roast until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 5  minutes more (keep a careful eye through this step because the sugar in the glaze can burn quickly). Let the duck rest for 10 minutes.

Caramelize fruit: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brush orange and lemon wedges with some of the remaining glaze and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes per cut side.

Serve: Transfer duck to a platter and surround with caramelized fruit (for squeezing over the duck). Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Roast Duck

 

Olive-Walnut-Pomegranate Medley (Zeytun Perverde)

The recipe for zeytun perverde,  a delectable Persian appetizer made of green olives, walnuts, and pomegranate arils, comes from my dear friend Nahid’s mom, aunt Khedije, an exceptional cook of both Azerbaijani and Persian dishes (she is an Azeri living in Iran). Zeytun perverde originates in the North of Iran.

If pomegranate is not available where you are, or if it is out of season, do not fear, for aunt Khedije suggests a great substitution  – dried cranberries.

Try this medley with wedges of lavash flatbread, or scooped onto crackers or as is.


OLIVE-WALNUT-POMEGRANATE MEDLEY (Zeytun Perverde)

Note: you can play with the amount of ingredients and adjust them to your liking.

1 cup walnuts
4 cups pitted green olives, sliced
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup pomegranate arils (variation: dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons (adjust to  taste) red wine vinegar or apple cider
2 tablespoons (adjust to taste) pomegranate paste (narsharab, available in Middle Eastern markets)
about 3 tablespoons olive oil (adjust to taste)

Smash the walnuts with the back of a large knife (chef’s knife works great), then chop coarsely (smashing should get their oils going). In a mixing bowl, combine the olives, onion, walnuts, pomegranate arils. Add the vinegar, pomegranate paste, and olive oil. Toss to combine. Pack into a jar and store in the refrigerator.

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