This BBQ duck and apricot kebabs recipe takes all the fat off the breast to make for some really tasty kebabs and uses citric notes of dried apricots and a brushing of Cointreau (or Grand Marnier) to cut through the flavour of the strong meat.
Not only do the apricots complement the flavour of the duck they also serve to reduce the meat density of the kebab. If you have meat cubes skewered directly next to each other on the kebab it's more difficult for the heat of the grill to penetrate the flesh (because it can only penetrate from the outside) and so cooking time becomes longer and there's more chance of an overcooked dry offering, especially on the outside of the kebab.
The apricots warm through much quicker than the duck and so provide an easier route for heat to get to the centre of the kebab. Heat is penetrating the meat for all sides and this makes cooking time more flexible and pink juicy meat a reality.
Why apricot? Let's start with duck and orange. It's a combination that goes back years. I still regard it as a something from the 70's, the sort of thing my mother would serve up at a dinner party. You know the sort of thing that used to get served up then? -
So it's traditional, maybe maligned a little and mostly forgotten. That is until I saw these kebabs in a Charcuterie in France and I just had to try them. They were marvelous and so started the process of re-creating the recipe for you.
It always makes me laugh that in the days when we are supposed to shy away from pre-prepared food and make everything fresh that the typically French charcuterie trade is alive and well. I guess there's still a difference between gourmet pre-prepared and a frozen microwave meal for one – long may it stay that way!
Back to the BBQ duck and apricot kebabs recipe, it is really easy to do, just remember that if you’re using bamboo skewers to make sure that you’ve given them 30 minutes to soak before cooking you start to thread the food.
Serves:- 4 people
Preparation Time:- 15 minutes
Cooking Time:- 15 minutes
Total Time:- 30 minutes
It's important to soak the apricots in water for an hour prior to starting this recipe otherwise when cooked they will be of a hard texture and not that pleasant to eat with the duck.
I don't stand on ceremony, soak the apricots in the same bowl as the bamboo skewers at the same time.
Remove the skin and fat from the duck breasts and dice the meat up into one inch cubes. Thread one cube of duck alternately with an apricot until everything is used up and then you’re ready to go.
Season each kebab with a sprinkle of salt and pepper then over a medium heat, grill the kebabs for 15 minutes.
Turn the kebabs regularly so that they cook all round and in the final five minutes brush them with the Cointreau. (Don't be tempted to do this too early because the Cointreau is full of sugar and will probably burn).
I haven't specified any accompaniment to this BBQ duck and apricot kebabs recipe however I like to serve it with a salad and it probably won't surprise you to find out that that salad has a little fruit in it too. Take your favourite leaves and add some tangerine segments and sprinkle on a few pomegranate seeds to finish off.
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