Confit Duck Breast with Spiced Cous Cous, Wilted Greens and Sour Cherry and Star Anise Sauce

4 duck breasts
sea salt and ground white pepper, to taste
1,5 litres duck fat, melted
2 bunch en choy or asian greens of your choice, leaves separated
sesame oil, if desired
Spiced couscous
1,5 cup couscous
50g butter, chopped
½ cinnamon quill
2 pinches Chinese 5 spice powder
1,5 cups boiling water
Sour cherry and star anise sauce
1 x 185g jar black sour cherries in juice
3 star anise
1 cup duck or chicken stock
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 bay leaves

Confit is a French term used to describe food cooked very slowly in deep fat, then stored in the cooled and solidified fat which seals and preserves it until needed. It produces a rich and delicious result.

Duck fat is available fresh from butchers and also preserved in tins from gourmet food shops.

Star anise is a dried star-shaped seed pod with a fragrant aniseed flavour. It is also available in ground form if you are unable to find the whole pods.

Couscous is a wonderful, easy, quick-cooking grain that makes a great change from rice and is perfect as a base for salads. Use stock instead of water to ensure a flavoursome result. It can also be prepared up to a day in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.

Asian vegetables such as en choy, bok choy or pak choy need very little cooking or they will go limp and lose their flavour. Add to stir-fries at the last minute or shred and use raw in Asian salads.

  1. Pre heat oven to 90°C.
  2. Season the duck with salt and pepper. Place into a 10-cup baking dish. Pour over duck fat - be sure all the duck is submerged. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow duck to cool in fat.
  3. To prepare the couscous, place couscous into a medium heatproof bowl. Stir remaining ingredients in a large jug until butter melts. Pour mixture over couscous. Stand, covered, for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Cover to keep warm until required.
  4. To prepare the sauce, bring all ingredients to the boil in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 6-7 minutes or until slightly thickened and sauce-like. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until required.
  5. Pre heat a heavy based frying pan to moderately hot. Add the duck breasts skin-side down. Cook until golden before turning over and cooking a further minute or two. Remove from heat and drain on absorbent paper. Slice thickly.
  6. While the duck is cooking, cook the en choy in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Drain and season with salt and pepper. Add a few drops of sesame oil if desired.
  7. Divide couscous among four serving plates and arrange duck breast on top. Place the en choy on the side and spoon a generous amount of sauce over the top of the duck. Serve immediately.