duckwithpears.jpg (40717 bytes)


2 tablespoon olive oil
1 duck, cut into 8 serving pieces
2 Spanish onions, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 beefsteak tomatos, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup chicken stock
4 firm pears, peeled, cored and halved
1 clove garlic
10 almonds, toasted
salt and fresh ground black pepper
herbs, to garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a frying pan, add duck in batches, skin-side down and cook over a fairly high heat for about 10 minutes until browned.  Turn over and cook for about 8 minutes until underside is slightly browned.  Using tongs transfer duck to absorbent kitchen paper to drain.

Remove excess oil from pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons.  Add onions, carrot, tomatoes, cinnanmon and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring ocassionally, until onions have softened, but not browned.  Add stock and simmer for 20 minutes.

Discard cinnamon and purée contents of pan in a food processor or blender or rub through a sieve.  Return this sauce to pan and boil for about 1 - 2 minutes.   Add duck and heat for 5 - 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put pears in a saucepan into which they just fit.  Just cover pears with water and simmer gently until tender.

Using a pestle and mortar, pound garlic and almonds to a paste.  Mix in a little of the pear cooking liquid, then stir into sauce.  Adjust consistency of sauce, if necessary, with more pear cooking liquid.  Season to taste.  Transfer duck to a warm serving plate and pour the sauce over the top.  Arrange pears around duck.  Garnish with herbs, if desired.

Serves 4

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