Roast duck breast with herbed freekeh & preserved lemon

Roast duck breast with herbed freekeh & preserved lemon

From
Grains
Serves
4
Prep
20 mins
Cooking time
30 mins
Photographer
Deidre Rooney

Freekeh has a really assertive taste – the smell is like wet straw as it cooks – but try it once and you will be addicted. It goes best with strong ingredients like duck, lamb, game, dried fruits, preserved lemons and capers.

From the grocer

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g freekeh
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
50g ready-to-eat dried figs, chopped
125ml extra-virgin olive oil

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
2 small preserved lemons, rind removed, cut into tiny dice
mint, chopped
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 lemons, juiced

From the butcher

Quantity Ingredient
4 boneless duck breasts, skin scored

Method

  1. Put the freekeh into a saucepan with 1.25 litres water, the salt and olive oil. Bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 25–30 minutes. The water should be absorbed during cooking and the grains should become tender. Drain any remaining water. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Season the duck breasts and heat a frying pan until very hot. Fry the duck, skin side down, in the peanut oil until golden.
  3. Turn the breasts over and cook until coloured – this should only take a couple of minutes. Put the duck in a roasting tin and roast for 7–9 minutes.
  4. As you are going to slice the duck breasts anyway you can make a slit in one to check if they are ready – you want them rare. When cooked, remove to a plate, cover with foil, insulate with a number of tea towels – I use 4 – and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
  5. Toss the lemon rind with the freekeh, along with the figs, herbs, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Season with pepper – you shouldn’t need salt, as the preserved lemon is salty, but check to see.
  6. Slice the duck breast neatly and toss with the freekeh. Serve with a small fresh watercress salad, or other green salad.
Tags:
grains
ancient
wholefood
simple
easy
weeknight
midweek
mid-week
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