Duck is one of my favourites and has always been the protagonist of some of the legendary dishes from countries such as France or China. However duck also has its place in Spanish cuisine, although it may not be one of the great protagonists. It is very popular in the region of Murcia where it is cooked with mushrooms, garlic or onion sauce and is often included in Paellas in the southern part of Valencia.
However the recipe I want to share with you today is not traditionally Spanish by any means, but it was a Spaniard who showed me it and I just had to share it with you. One, because it is pretty simple and two because it’s just so incredibly tasty and it will make you into a star cook at any dinner party! This recipe can be a main course if you make large pastries or a starter if you prepare smaller pastries, either way you are assured to conquer both family and guests.
Crispy Duck & Fig Pastries
Ingredients: 2 portions - starter - 4 small pastries
1 duck confit (thigh)
4 sheets of Brick pastry
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sugar
Pepper, salt and rosemary
4 fresh figs
1 large glass Tawny Port
Salt and pepper
2 cherry tomatoes
Oil and balsamic vinegar
Clean the fat of the duck confit and put in a baking dish with the orange juice and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary. Leave it in the oven at 180 ° C, skin side up for about 15 minutes or until the skin is brown and crispy. Remove and let it cool down. Save the juice, which has been released.
In a small saucepan we place 4 fresh figs (straight from the tree!), cut into small pieces, add the port, add salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, blend it thoroughly and pass it through a medium grain sieve. Put to one side.
Cut the onion into thin strips and brown with a little butter in a pan when it turns transparent when we add 2 teaspoons of sugar, braise and add half a glass of water. Leave it for ten minutes at medium heat or until the liquid has evaporated. Place to one side.
Debone duck thigh, which should be cold, and shred the skin and flesh into four lots that make up the filling for the pastries. Place each pile on a sheet of brick (filo) pastry with a spoonful of caramelized onions and close it as you wish, I did triangles, more or less... Fry them in very hot oil, just enough time so that the pastry goes golden brown and crisp. (Test the oil with a little bread before popping in the pastries; the bread should sizzle quickly) Let them stand for one minute on absorbent kitchen paper before serving.
To serve, place two duck pastries per dish with a little fig sauce. Add a selection of lettuce and a cherry tomato with a fig cut in half. Dress with a little dripping from the roasting tray a drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the lettuce. Serve warm with a bowl with remaining sauce.
Finally, open a good fruity Ribera del Duero crianza, and enjoy…