A Winter Favourite
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
IMAGES:: LISA ATKINSON
Winter is the time of year where you crave warmth, comfort and a delicious meal you can enjoy with friends.
A rich and hearty protein like duck is the perfect little luxury for wintertime. The cooler weather creates different cravings, and I do find myself being drawn towards meatier, heartier dishes. High in iron, introducing duck into your staple of meats is an excellent way to vary the proteins you and your family are eating. Slice off the skin and cook as normal, a half a cup of roasted duck meat has around the same calorie intake as roast chicken - so why not mix it up a little? Luvaduck makes it easy to try out new recipes and expand your repertoire in the kitchen.
Now that I have a delicious meal all planned out in your head, an equally fab table setting is called for. A wintery table, full of flowers, warm tones and eclectic layers; a table loved ones will sit at for a long, rich lunch where I will be serving the most delicious Duck ragu ready to be devoured!
Every table needs a bit of drama, and I love it when flowers can be so amazing they are a feature in themselves. Hellebores are my favourite winter foliage so having them in the centre of my table is a must, starting from the middle out is also an excellent way to begin decorating a table. Taking the hellebores out of their pots and placing them directly on the table will most definitely start a few people talking. Having your table preset before guests arrive means you can sit straight down to your meal, relaxing and enjoying yourself - knowing that the bulk of the work is done. All you have left to do for your winter meal is to place that big bowl of pasta and tuck in!
My collection of wishbone serviette rings are usually sitting pretty in a cloche on display, but this was their time to shine! Im a big believer that all collections should be used, don’t leave them looking gorgeous with no one touching them, bring them out and enjoy them. I wanted to make the serviettes pop under the wishbone so draping them longways and letting them drop off the table with a sprig of hellebore relaxes the look of the table. Mixing and matching glassware is a great way to keep the table tonal, a collection of amber coloured glasses in various sizes finish off the look, dim the lights - light a lovely amber scented candle and it’s time to enjoy your meal.
Pasta with Duck Sauce, pappardelle al ragù d’anatra
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stick, chopped
- 2 duck breasts (about 350g), skin removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200ml tomato passata
- 250ml dry red wine
- About 400ml chicken stock
- A small bunch of sage leaves
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 250g pappardelle
- Grated parmesan to serve
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté, stirring from time to time for 10–15 minutes over low heat. Add the duck pieces and cook stirring and turning them over until they change colour all over.
- Stir in the garlic and when the aroma rises, add the wine, the tomato passata and about 200 ml of the stock. Add the sage, rosemary and bay leaf, the salt, pepper and sugar, and simmer, covered, over low heat for about 1 hour, adding more chicken stock as the sauce reduces. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Cook the pappardelle in a pan of boiling salted water until done al dente. Drain quickly, pour into the saucepan with the sauce and mix very well over low heat. Serve with the grated parmesan.
Five Fabulous ideas for cooking with Duck…
Mix up homemade pizza night! Chinese flavoured Pizza topped with hoison sauce, Peking duck breasts and child sauce.
A salad featuring slow roasted duck meat peppered in pomegranate seeds takes this hearty meat and gives it a pop of sweetness.
- Swap your proteins in a red curry for duck meat adding a bigger kick to the flavours.
- Peking duck would have to be one of the most delish finger foods. Let your guests make their own little wraps and relax!
- Don’t ever roast potatoes without duck fat! It is easily the key ingredient to creating crisp, delicious roast potatoes.