Braised free range duck in marsala and orange, mushrooms, soft polenta
From Steven Choo
Franco Choos, Prahran
"As with all braises one of the most important things with this dish is to get that browning going to really get that flavour. It’s worth spending that extra few minutes on. Then make sure it’s cooked until it’s literally falling off the bone. I like the great flavour of duck, that slightly gamey flavour, and it’s not something that people cook often at home so when they go out they do like to try it. It sells very well. It’s a premium product though so I get the whole duck in and really make the most of it." Steven Choo
1 free range duck (about 2 kg)
3 tbspn vegetable oil
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
200ml sweet Marsala
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1/4 cup (loose packed) flat leaf parsley, roughly
400g Swiss Brown mushrooms, sliced
2 tbspn salt
Soft polenta, to serve.
Rub salt all over duck. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook duck on both sides, breast-side first, until fat renders and skin is golden brown. Remove duck (reserve fat) and place aside.
Heat 30ml duck fat in a large pot over medium-high heat, add vegetables. Stir occasionally until caramelised (five to seven minutes). Add Marsala and deglaze pot, then add orange zest and juice and bay leaves. Add duck, top up with enough water to cover and put on lid. Cook over low heat, turning duck occasionally until tender and almost falling from the bone. Remove lid and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
Remove duck from braising liquid and when cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat (discard bones, skin and sinew) and set aside. Skim layer of fat, then strain braising liquid and return to pot on medium-high heat until reduced by about three quarters or until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Meanwhile, fry mushrooms in remaining oil over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of water and continue frying until mushrooms are tender. Season to taste and set aside. Add meat back into sauce and season to taste. Stir through mushrooms and parsley and serve hot with soft polenta.