This is a Lebanese-style spiced duck confit with baby white figs. You’ll need some wood smoking chips and a smoker box for this recipe (see note). The smoking step can be omitted for a less smoky but equally delicious hummus.
- 50 g whole blanched almonds
- 50 g pistachios
- 50 g pine nuts
- 6 fresh za'atar sprigs (see note)
- 1 cup dried baby figs, soaked in hot water for 2 hours, drained
- 2 duck breasts, skin removed, chopped into 1 cm pieces
- pinch of salt
- 500 g duck fat
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 300 g cooked chickpeas, rinsed, drained
- 100 g tahini
- 125 ml (½ cup) hot water
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 125 ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The duck awarma can be made up to 1 month in advance.
To make the duck awarma, toss the duck meat with generous pinch of salt. Combine the duck fat and spices in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, until about 80°C. Add the duck meat, stir to combine and simmer on the lowest possible heat on the smallest burner, stirring occasionally, for 1½–2 hours or until the duck is falling apart. If not using straightaway, pack the duck meat and fat into sterilised jars and seal. The duck awarma can be made up to a few months in advance and stored at room temperature.
To make the hummus, fill a smoker with woodchips and place over the burner of a barbecue on high until the chips catch and are burning well. Reduce the heat to low. Arrange the cooked chickpeas on an oven tray and transfer to the barbecue. Place the tray at the opposite end of the barbecue – do not light the burner underneath. Close the lid and smoke for 20 minutes. Transfer the chickpeas and remaining ingredients to a blender and blend for 5–6 minutes or until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside until ready to use.
Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of duck fat from the awarma, and the almonds. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1–2 minutes or until the almonds begin to change colour. Add the pistachios and cook for 1 minute, then add the pine nuts, duck awarma and za´atar. Continue to cook for 2–3 minutes or until the nuts are golden and the duck is crisp. Add the baby figs and stir through. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
To serve, spoon the hummus onto a serving platter and make a large well in the centre. Spoon the duck mixture into the well. Serve immediately.
• To smoke the chickpeas without a smoker box, line a wok with aluminium foil and place the smoking chips on top. Place the wok over high heat until the chips begin to smoke. Place the chickpeas on a plate and sit on a rack inside the wok. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and smoke for 20 minutes.
• Fresh za'atar is available from November until May. You will need to order za'atar in advance from specialty greengrocers. If unavailable, substitute with an equal amount of fresh thyme.