TV chef Andrew Zimmern’s version of the famous North African savory spiced pie swaps duck for the traditional pigeon and multiple layers of crackly phyllo dough for the classic warka pastry case.
Slideshow:More Duck Recipes
One 2 1/2-inch cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
4 dried red chiles
One 4-inch piece of fresh turmeric, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
One 4 1/2- to 5-pound young duck, cut into 2 breasts, 2 legs and 2
3 small yellow onions, minced (3 cups)
10 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup tawny port wine
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup dried currants
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon saffron
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
7 thin frozen phyllo sheets (No. 4), thawed
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
How to Make It
In a 7-inch cheesecloth square, tie the cinnamon stick with the star anise, chiles, turmeric, cloves, mustard seeds and allspice.
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the duck breasts skin side down over moderately low heat, spooning off the fat, until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a plate. Add the legs and wings skin side down and cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer to the plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the casserole. Add 1 cup of the onions and the garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the port and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, duck pieces and spice bundle, cover and cook until the duck is tender, about 40 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the duck breasts and legs to a plate to cool; leave the wings in the pot. Increase the heat to moderately high and simmer the broth until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Strain into a small heatproof bowl; reserve. Shred the duck meat and skin. Remove any bones and cartilage.
In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the brown sugar over moderate heat, about 1 minute. Stir in the almonds, 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar and the cayenne and transfer to a plate. In the same pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the remaining 2 cups of onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Stir in the almond mixture, currants, coriander, nutmeg, saffron, shredded duck and eggs. Slowly add the reserved 1 cup of broth, stirring, and cook until the eggs are set and the mixture is moist, about 5 minutes. Season the filling with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Brush a 10-inch pie plate with some of the melted butter. Unroll the phyllo sheets and cover with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel to keep them from drying out. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time, press it into the pie plate, leaving about 2 inches of overhang, and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets, layering and rotating each sheet slightly. Sprinkle the bottom with 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar. Spread the duck filling in the prepared pie shell and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar. Fold the phyllo over the filling and brush the top with the remaining melted butter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let the pie cool for 10 minutes. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar and serve.
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