Seared Duck with Pomegranate Molasses and Israeli Couscous

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Ingredients

2 duck breasts, skin scored and patted dry

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1/2 cup pomegranate molasses 

3 cups chicken stock 

1 tablespoon saffron 

1/4 pound haricots verts, trimmed 

1 cup Israeli couscous 

1/2 onion, small dice 

1 clove garlic, chopped 

Pinch crushed red pepper 

1 medium zucchini, small dice 

2 scallions, sliced on a bias, whites and greens separated 

1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted 

5 dried apricots, small dice 

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 

Directions

  1. Sprinkle both sides of the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to a large saute pan and place the duck in the pan skin-side down. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook the duck breasts low and slow to allow the fat to render, spooning out and reserving the fat as it renders, until the skin gets nice and crispy, 8 to 9 minutes. Turn the duck over and cook until well-seared on the flesh side, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the duck from the pan, cover with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour off and reserve any remaining duck fat, then add the pomegranate molasses to the pan and cook over low heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock and saffron to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep.
  4. Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Cook the haricots verts until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, then shock in the ice water. Cut in half on a bias and set aside.
  5. In the same pot, boil the couscous until partially cooked but still with a little bite to it, approximately 8 minutes. Strain and lay the couscous on a sheet pan to cool. Set aside.
  6. Sweat the onion and garlic in a couple tablespoons of duck fat in a large saute pan over medium heat, along with the crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and scallion whites and saute for about 2 more minutes. Add about 1 cup saffron stock and the couscous and bring to a simmer; cook until the couscous is cooked through, adding more saffron stock as needed, about 5 minutes more. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the almonds, apricots and haricots verts.
  7. Brush the pomegranate molasses on the duck breasts. Cut the breasts on a bias and plate with the couscous, topped with scallion greens and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle a bit of the pomegranate molasses over the duck and couscous.