This recipe is delicious! I used pre-marinated orange duck breast instead of seasoning it according to the recipe, and I did need to finish them in the oven. The flavors of the risotto paired perfectly with the duck. I served this with steamed green beans. I would make this again and would serve it to company.
Duck Breasts with Cider-Farro Risotto
An ancient grain with a nutty flavor, farro releases starch when cooked in the same way as Arborio rice, resulting in a creamy dish reminiscent of risotto. Farro is also known as spelt; look for it in supermarkets alongside other specialty grains. Garnish with thyme sprigs.
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- Calories: 459
- Calories from fat: 22%
- Fat: 11.2g
- Saturated fat: 3.2g
- Monounsaturated fat: 4.6g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g
- Protein: 42.9g
- Carbohydrate: 50.5g
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Cholesterol: 190mg
- Iron: 8.4mg
- Sodium: 659mg
- Calcium: 63mg
- 2 cups farro
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 2)
- 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup water (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 (6-ounce) boneless duck breast halves, thawed and skinned
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- To prepare risotto, place farro in a large bowl; cover with water to 1 inch above farro. Let stand 30 minutes; drain.
- Combine broth and cider in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add fennel, and sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Remove fennel from pan. Add farro, and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add wine, and cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 35 minutes total). Add up to 1 cup water as needed until farro is al dente. Stir in fennel, grated lemon rind, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and cinnamon. Remove from heat. Cover and keep warm.
- To prepare duck, sprinkle duck with 1/2 teaspoon salt, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; rub with garlic. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 breast halves, and cook for 2 1/2 minutes or until browned. Turn breasts over, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 1/2 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 4 breast halves. Serve duck with farro risotto.
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