ROAST DUCK BREAST WITH SOFT PO­LENTA & RADIC­CHIO

Country Style - - COUNTRY CHEF ADAM BANTOCK -

Serves 4 (See pho­to­graph, page 79)

4 bone­less duck breasts ¼ cup olive oil 2 tea­spoons ju­niper berries* 1 tea­spoon fen­nel seeds 1 stalk rose­mary, sprigs re­moved 1 radic­chio 2 sprigs thyme 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 ta­ble­spoon sherry vine­gar** 1 tea­spoon caster sugar 2 ta­ble­spoons vin­cotttto*** ex­tra olive oil, to driz­zle ⅓ cup roasted hazel­nuts, chopped ex­tra thyme leaves, to gar­nish ex­tra vin­cotttto, to serve (op­tional)

SOFT PO­LENTA

1⅔ cups milk ⅓ cup white po­lenta**** 50g buttt­ter, diced ½ cup grated parmesan

Trim ex­cess fat from duck breasts. Com­bine olive oil, ju­niper berries, fen­nel seeds and rose­mary sprigs in a large bowl. Sea­son with sea salt flflakes and black pep­per. Add duck breasts and turn to coat in oil mix­ture. Cover with plastic wrap and place in re­frig­er­a­tor for 1 hour to de­velop flflavours. To make soft po­lenta, place milk in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over a medium heat. Grad­u­ally add po­lenta in a thin, steady stream, whisk­ing con­stantly un­til com­bined. Re­duce heat to low. Cook, whisk­ing con­stantly, for 10 min­utes or un­til po­lenta is soft and mix­ture thick­ens. Re­move from heat. Cover with a lid and stand for 10 min­utes. Add but­ter and parmesan, and stir to com­bine. Sea­son to taste. Cover to keep warm. Pre­heat oven to 180°C. Cut radic­chio in half length­ways. Tear into large pieces and place in a bak­ing dish with thyme sprigs. Driz­zle with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and sherry vine­gar. Sprin­kle with sugar, and sea­son with sea salt and black pep­per. Cover bak­ing dish with foil and roast for 12 min­utes or un­til radic­chio is wilted. Mean­while, heat a large oven­proof fry­ing pan over a medium heat. Add duck breasts, skin-side down, and cook for 5 min­utes or un­til skin is golden. Turn and cook for 2 min­utes. Trans­fer pan to oven and roast for 8 min­utes for medium or un­til cooked to your lik­ing. Spoon po­lenta among serv­ing plates. Slice duck breasts length­ways and place on po­lenta. Ar­range radic­chio on plates. Driz­zle with vin­cotto and ex­tra oil. Sprin­kle with hazel­nuts and gar­nish with ex­tra thyme. Serve with ex­tra vin­cotto on the side, if de­sired.

*Avail­able at spe­cialty spice shops, del­i­catessens and some su­per­mar­kets. **Avail­able at del­i­catessens and gourmet food stores. Sub­sti­tute red wine vine­gar. ***Also known as vino cotto, this condi­ment is made by re­duc­ing grape must to a thick syrup. It’s avail­able at gourmet food stores and del­i­catessens. ****Avail­able at gourmet food stores and some del­i­catessens. Sub­sti­tute reg­u­lar po­lenta.

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