This recipe is inspired by a dish served at the beloved Kookaburra Restaurant in Halls Gap. I spent many good years living in the town at the heart of the Grampians in Victoria. I have had several friends and a few lovers that would crave this dish to the point where we would make a late night call on the restaurant hoping for a take away. This dish used up the last of the duck I bought at market a couple of weeks ago. I had some duck stock left over after making soup, and have saved the breasts in the freezer all this time. I normally use chicken stock for this recipe, but the difference is noticeable. My partner says it’s the best duck risotto I’ve made him yet.
|4||cups||duck stock (see duck and lentil broth)|
|1||Spanish onion, finely diced|
|1||tablespoon||fresh chives, roughly cut|
|1 1/2||cups||baby spinach leaves|
|1/2||cup||grated parmesan cheese|
Coat the duck breasts with less than half of the anise. Place a medium sized non-stick saucepan on a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add duck breasts, skin side down. Cook till the fat is rendered from under the skin and skin is brown and crisp. Turn the duck breasts and brown the other side. Remove duck from the pan and set aside in a bowl. The duck doesn’t want to be cooked through, just golden and crisp on the outside. Place the duck stock in small saucepan on medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and add the diced onion and remaining anise to the pan. Cook gently until the onion is translucent. Add the rice and increase the heat slightly. Cook the rice until it starts to make a cracking sound. Add the wine, stirring till absorbed. Add a ladle of duck stock to rice, stir until absorbed. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked al dente. Meanwhile, thinly slice the duck breasts and add the resting juices to the rice. When rice is al dente, add one last ladle of stock, stir to combine, and add the sliced duck breast, spinach, chives and parmesan cheese. Remove the pan from the heat and stir thoroughly, till spinach is wilted, cheese is melted and ingredients are thoroughly combined. Divide between serving bowls, grind over a generous quantity of black pepper. Garnish with a shaving of parmesan cheese. Eat immediately.