Zesty ginger duck with rhubarb

    1 hour 15 min

    A full-flavoured, bitter-sweet mixture of duck with rhubarb and orange makes a tasty dressing for penne or rigatoni, showing that a modest portion of meat goes a long way with the right pasta in an interesting sauce. Crisp green vegetables complete this simple, but stylish, stir-fry.

    9 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 340 g (12 oz) boneless duck breasts
    • 400 g (14 oz) penne or other pasta shapes
    • 1½ tbsp sunflower oil
    • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
    • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
    • 225 g (8 oz) rhubarb, cut into 5 mm (¼ in) slices
    • 10 spring onions, thinly sliced
    • 300 g (10½ oz) runner or French beans, thinly sliced or cut into short lengths
    • 75 g (2½ oz) watercress sprigs
    • 4 oranges, peeled, halved and sliced
    • salt and pepper
    • Marinade
    • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1½ tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
    • 8 juniper berries, lightly crushed
    • 4 black peppercorns, lightly crushed

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the marinade into a bowl and set aside to cool while you prepare the duck breasts.
    2. Remove the skin and all surface fat from the duck breasts. Thinly slice the breasts crossways, then cut the slices lengthways into fine strips. Add the strips to the marinade and stir to coat them well. Cover tightly and leave to marinate in a cool place, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes.
    3. When you are ready to prepare the stir-fry, cook the pasta in boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta well and return it to the hot empty pan. Cover and set aside, off the heat.
    4. Drain the duck in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing out all the liquid and reserving it. Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the oil and, when it is hot, cook the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds. Add the duck and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes or until the duck strips are well browned.
    5. Add the rhubarb and spring onions. Reduce the heat to moderate and stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and tender but not broken down completely.
    6. Pour in the reserved marinade and bring to the boil, stirring for a few seconds. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from the heat. Add to the pasta and toss well. Keep hot.
    7. Drop the beans into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for just 2 minutes. Drain well and rinse briefly with cold water.
    8. Arrange the watercress on a large dish or on individual serving plates, and top with the hot beans and sliced oranges. Divide the duck and pasta mixture among the plates and serve.

    Some more ideas

    Use 340 g (12 oz) lean boneless pork such as fillet instead of the duck breast. * Try a combination of lean gammon instead of duck, and shelled broad beans instead of runner or French beans. * When fresh rhubarb is out of season, use plums, stoned and sliced, instead. * Nectarines, stoned and sliced, are a good alternative to rhubarb, particularly if you want to vary the dish by using lower-fat chicken or turkey breast instead of duck.

    Plus points

    Skinning the duck and removing the fat before cooking cuts out about two-thirds of the total fat content. * Duck is a good source of many of the B vitamins, plus iron and zinc. Weight for weight, duck contains over twice as much B1 and B2, and three times as much iron, as chicken. * Rhubarb contains vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Use only the stalks, however, because the leaves are poisonous, even when they are cooked.

    Each serving provides

    C, copper * B12, potassium, selenium, zinc * B1, B2, folate, niacin, calcium, iron

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