It’s been harder to go shopping since the school holidays finished and Dad’s gone back to school. (I, on the other hand, being a uni student, still have a couple of weeks of freedom – sweet, sweet freedom). Last year, Dad was only part time and did 3 days a week, but now he’s been moved up to full time, and organising shopping expeditions has become harder. Luckily, today both Mum & I had a free morning, so we went Box Hill, huge shopping list in hand, with the aim of buying the ingredients for a steak béarnaise for lunch, and for pomegranate duck breasts tomorrow. (I naturally assumed that fresh pomegranates would be unavailable, but I do have a carton of juice in the freezer).
However, all my steak plans were foiled, because even though I could find every other ingredient, there was no freakin’ tarragon. No-one, anywhere, had any in stock today, so a steak béarnaise was out of the question. Grrr! And all I wanted was some meat!
I suppose fate was urging me towards the duck breasts, because after the tarragon incident, the first thing I saw in Safeway was a huge tray of deliciously ripe and juicy-looking pomegranates, imported from the USA and only $2.50 each. Score!
273. Duck with Pomegranate (One & Two)
This recipe follows the liver with sweet onions recipe in the One & Two chapter, and Nigella offers two options for treating the duck. The first option is to roast a whole duck, basting it with reduced pomegranate juice, and making a sauce from the pan juices and some herbs. Alternatively, “a lower-effort take on the same theme” is to fry duck breasts, and deglaze the pan with pomegranate juice for the sauce.
I obviously chose option 2, as this meant no faffing around with roasting trays or bones. It was thus the easy option for both the cook and the eater. (Both of whom are me!) More importantly, duck breasts rock. I could eat them every day.
I started by chucking the breasts in the pan, and putting some home-cook frozen fries in the oven. I’d bought them for the steak, and even though I was happy to substitute breasts for meat today, there was no way I was going to miss out on my fries!
While the breasts and fries were cooking away, I dealt with the pomegranate.
I cut it in half…
…and did the Nigella-thwacks-it-with-a-wooden-spoon method for extracting the seeds from one half...
…and with the other half, I squeezed the juice out, using my Living Kitchen blue juicer. To be completely honest, I was quite wary of using the juicer for such a sturdy piece of fruit. As gorgeous as the Living Kitchen range most definitely is, I haven’t found the products to be entirely appropriate for heavy-duty kitchen activity. I needn’t have worried, however. Despite the pomegranate outer hardiness, the inside was perfectly soft and yielding – even easier to squeeze than an orange.
juiced and seeded
So, once the duck breasts were cooked, I deglazed the pan with the pomegranate juice, and lunch was ready! I served it with some salad (it’s too hot for peas), and the frites, and it was a lovely lunch for my mother and I.