risotto #7 - duck with blood orange
happy, happy birthday to me.
i suppose i should feel guilty about it, but while everyone congratulated me on my quarter-life crisis and expressed their hope that i would be doing something fun and exciting to mark the occasion, i slogged through the long, weary wednesday by dreaming of something much more modest: a clean kitchen. a fire in my fireplace. a stack of cookbooks to peruse. my cat, taking up the entire couch. a favorite movie queued up in the DVD player.
a bowl of warm, sweet risotto. my most favorite risotto. a risotto worth saving my last blood orange of the year for, a blood orange risotto garnished with slices of roasted duck breast and a segmented orange.
i tend to save this recipe all year in eager anticipation of the all-too-brief availability of the ruby-fleshed citrus. and then, of course, i don't want to overdo a good thing, so i usually only get to taste the fruits of this particular labor once or at best twice during the season. it seemed fitting, then, to save the recipe as my reward at the end of a long, snowy birthday.
my one caveat is that i once again broke all risotto protocol and succumbed to the siren song of the rice cooker. the idea of being able to put everything into a pot and let it sort itself out while i settled myself in for the evening was just too much for me to resist!
i skipped dessert and sipped at a glass of pomegranate juice while i basked in the warm glow of the fire and the animated banter on my small screen.
risotto with duck and blood oranges
(adapted from the williams-sonoma risotto cookbook and beth hensperger's rice cooker cookbook)
2 T olive oil
1 T minced shallots
grated zest of 1 blood orange
1/2 cup arborio rice
2 cups fresh chicken stock
1 duck breast fillet, skin on, and cross-hatched with a sharp knife
first, coat the bottom of the rice cooker bowl with olive oil, and turn the cooker on. as the olive oil heats up, sweat the shallots until they start to stink up the kitchen and release their juice. add zest. stir in the rice until each grain is coated and translucent, with a small white dot in the center (about 3-5 minutes). pour in stock, and reset rice cooker for the porridge cycle. (mine has one--otherwise, reset the cooking cycle and set a timer for about 20 minutes)
check on the rice intermittently, because letting the porridge cycle complete leaves you with clumpy, goopy, soupy rice instead of tender-to-the-bite risotto. while the cooker does its thing, sear the duck breast in a skillet until the fat renders. transfer to a 400F pre-heated oven and roast for approximately 10 minutes. let the duck rest, then slice on a diagonal and remove the skin.
spoon the risotto into a bowl and garnish with the blood orange segments and the sliced duck breast.
(makes enough for just 1)