Moroccan Duck and Apricot Tagine

The first sit-down meal my husband and I ever shared, way back when we were friends, was one my mother had cooked for us while we studied at my house. I don’t remember what the actual meal was, I only remember that there was a tuna pasta salad. When I offered some to him, he gleefully accepted, but then never touched it. Turns out he didn’t like tuna, he was just being polite.

There were a lot of things he didn’t like. He didn’t eat any poultry that wasn’t chicken or turkey breast, he didn’t eat any meat that wasn’t lean beef and he only ate fried shrimp or calamari. Runny eggs? Out. Most cheeses? Out. Liver, duck, salmon? Out, out and out.
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It was only when we started eating paleo that he realized his food world was going to get pretty small pretty fast if he didn’t start trying new things. Slowly he started to like salmon, then most fish (except tuna), then chicken thighs, then runny eggs, then grilled shrimp and calamari, then marbled cuts of beef. Last week at my mother’s house he ate a bowl of Alexandrian liver with tahini. A few weeks before, RABBIT! And (thank you most gracious universe) he even stole a piece of duck breast right off my plate at a family dinner.
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I thought the sky was about to open and rain unicorn feathers. I literally (not really) ran to the store to pick up some duck to make this tagine. And you should too. Because it’s succulent, it’s delicious, it’s sweet and savory and nutty and everything you could ever want in a duck tagine. Also, BECAUSE WE ARE CELEBRATING MY BEING ABLE TO EAT DUCK AGAIN!

Moroccan Duck and Apricot Tagine 

Serves 4

1 kg of duck meat with the skin still on, so legs, breasts, whatever you fancy
1 tbs coconut oil or clarified butter
1 large onion, sliced into half moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs red wine vinegar (can sub whatever vinegar you like)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A few shavings of fresh nutmeg
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup duck or chicken broth
16 dried apricots
Two handfuls of walnuts and blanched almonds

1. Heat your oven to 140C.
2. In a large dutch oven or pan, heat the coconut oil or butter on medium-high heat.
3. Salt and pepper your duck and start searing it, skin-side down first then all over. Make sure they get really nice and brown. Remove and reserve.
4. Turn your heat down to low and remove some of the duck fat (DO NOT THROW IT AWAY, IT IS DUCK NECTAR), reserving about a tablespoon. Toss in the onions and garlic.
5. Once browned, deglaze with vinegar then add the spices, tomato paste and chicken broth. Let it come to a simmer.
6. If you’re using an oven-safe dutch oven, return your duck to the pot with the sauce, cover and set in the oven. If you don’t, pour your sauce into a roasting tray and arrange your duck on top then cover with foil and place in the oven.
7. Cook for 45 minutes then uncover and add your apricots. Cook for another 15 minutes. Test for salt and pepper.
8. In a cold pan, toss in the nuts and turn the heat to medium. Toss them around a lot until they toast to your liking.
9. Serve duck over saffron cauliflower rice and cover with toasty nuts.

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Comments

  1. You’ve helped me completely redefine my palette. But I still don’t know about eating Tuna.

  2. I made this last night, it was amazing my husband was super pleased! I didn’t have any red wine vinegar so used Balsamic vinegar
    Instead and worked really well, it was Delicious

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