Contains: Gluten, nightshades.
I apologize for the lack of photos of this dish… I plumb forgot to take any. I brought it to a friend at her hip re-hab facility. I intended to make this for Christmas Day lunch (especially as she describes it the food they serve there hardly deserves the word “food” or even “sustenance” beyond barely, but we had significant icing outside, so I went over on the 26th – Boxing Day in certain parts of the world. (As a child, when I first heard the term, I pictured it a day when Mohammed Ali and some other boxer would be celebrated ringside!)
If you like farro, you’ll probably like Kamut. Like farro and emmer, this is another ancient grain. I find it a bit “harder” and “nuttier” than farro. There are a few people who cannot tolerate today’s wheat who can tolerate ancient grains (but not if you are Celiac).
Kamut is also known as Khorasan wheat or Oriental wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum also called Triticum turanicum). The grain is twice the size of modern-day wheat. It is grown in the Middle East, and in Europe. In Europe it is made into bread. In Iran a primary use is for camel feed! The production and sale of this cultivar under the commercial name of Kamut in the US is strictly regulated and must be certified and comply with a series of rules established by the US company, Kamut, based in Montana. Okay, mine was named Kamut, but maybe in the future I’ll be looking for Khorasan wheat!! I don’t mind complying to this sort of principle for certain foods, but in this case, I mean, this grain is not remotely native to Montana!!!
It is high in protein, dietary fiber, many of the B-vitamins, and manganese.
I wanted to have a grain as a major component in this dish; and I didn’t feel this one called for rice. Not finding the farro (I think I’d finished it off), I decided to try the Kamut, taste (to me) so far un-tasted.
Here’s a good web page for how to cook this (I used my rice cooker):
I’d fully intended to make sous vide pork tenderloin for the occasion, but hitting the frozen meats section at Guido’s while waiting for some folks ahead of me to pick out seafood, I saw they had duck legs. No brine added, no water added – just simply DUCK. And meaty enough that I wondered if these appendages were really mis-labelled breasts instead. So… I never got around to looking for that tenderloin!
To cook duck right, you need to render out the fat. All seafowl are fatty – they need this fat to help them thrive in a watery environment. Makes them more buoyant for one. Extra insulation, for another.
Veggies in this dish revolved around what felt “right” and happened to be in my refrigerator. I had actually planned on roasting about half a pound of Brussels sprouts, but those little guys had decided to go moldy on me, and so… not this time! At any rate, add what works for you!
Prep Time: 15 minutes, mostly while the Khorasan wheat is cooking.
Cook Time: 90 minutes.
Rest Time: Rest the duck for 10 minutes, covered.
Leftovers: Yes, refrigerate.
Kamut (Khorasan Wheat), Veggies and Duck Legs
- 0.75 cups Kamut (Khorasan Wheat) berries, ie the whole grains. You can sub in farro, emmer or freekah if desired, but you will have to prepare them according to those specific grains’ needs.
- 3 stalks celery, diced.
- Chicken bone broth, home-made preferred but boxed low sodium broth or low sodium “Better than Bouillon” reconstituted with water can be substituted. See Methods for amount.
- Salt and ground pepper as needed.
- 1 whole white or yellow onion, chopped.
- 1 whole bell pepper, preferably colorful. (I used four mini-peppers).
- About 4-5 ounces of cabbage – I used Savoy but any good green cabbage would work. Slice into slivers.
- Feel free to add more of other vegetables, or substitute in items you have at hand to the above.
- Two duck legs (or two breast halves).
- 2 heaping teaspoons of a Barbeque Rub. (I used Penzey’s BBQ of the Americas).
- 1 heaping teaspoon of Adobo powder.
For the Kamut / Khorasan wheat, I used a rice cooker, but you can cook in a stovetop pan just as well. The ratio is 1 part Kamut to 3 parts liquid. If using a rice cooker, put the setting on “brown rice” if your cooker has that option. Regular actually worked fine. As for the liquid: with a highly concentrated chicken stock such as I’d made, using about 1/3 chicken stock to 2/3 water worked fine. Otherwise, you can go up to full boxed broth or a full “Better than Boullion” broth, should you wish. Add the celery to the Khorasan wheat, and only add salt in, if your home-cooked stock lacks much of this. (Mine does, as I never know where or how I’ll be using it!)
Set the rice cooker to go, and turn your attention to the rest of the meal. (Same true if you are doing a cooktop rice cooking method – but check to stir occasionally – otherwise keep covered. PS the stovetop Kamut I understand needs about 45 minutes cooking time, but I have not tried it this way. Read your package!
Meanwhile, prep the veggies.
You can always roast some specific vegetables in your oven (coated with a bit of cooking oil and seasonings). But here:
Onions and pepper: Sauté in an oven-ready skillet for about ten minutes, or until vegetables grow translusent, and a little early stage of browning occurs. Set aside. Bring the cabbage to them.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
The Duck: Be sure this is duck with no added water or brine – said briny duck will NOT cook properly. Whether legs or breast parts, score all fatty areas with a criss cross pattern, about 1/3rd inches apart. Cut all the way through the skin and fat. If you nick into the skin, that’s okay, but don’t plan on it. happening often.
Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on both sides of the legs (or the breasts, if you have those). I don’t care what those “professional” chefs say, don’t go overboard on salting! I think they’ve burnt out their salt taste receptors!!! Yes, some salting is desired and is indeed important, but… please! (This isn’t even a blood pressure issue, it’s a taste issue. Flavor is so much more than sodium chloride! It’s a balance of herbs and spices, and yes, some salt!)
The veggies you’ve cooked in your skillet are now removed. Don’t add more oil to the skillet. Turn to medium high heat. The duck will render out plenty of oil/fats. Place duck parts fat side down in the hot skillet. Cook four-five minutes each of the two sides.
In a casserole dish, add the khorasan wheat – you may find there is still liquid at the bottom of the cooked grain; so use a slotted spoon to remove the grains and celery to the dish. Add in the sauteed veggies and any vegetable you may have roasted. Also, add in the cabbage. Mix in with the BBQ rub and the adobo seasoning.
Sprinkle a little more seasoning (either the rub or the adobo) over the duck legs (or breast). Place both the casserole dish (covered) and the oven-ready skillet with the duck (uncovered) into the oven together.
For the legs, cook 45 minutes. For the breast, cook about 30 for medium rare. – up to 40 if you wish well done. Cook the casserole 40 minutes. Remove and let the duck rest 10 minutes, during which you can plate the grain and veggie portion of this meal; two servings.
Lay a leg over each serving. If you cooked duck breast instead, optionally slice it on a bias. (or leave each breast half whole).
Do reserve all fat drippings from the duck! Very useful in a variety of future dishes!
Yes, I’ve been a bit sparse (and mostly uncreative) this month. But, I am back. I hope everyone had a merry Christmas, a beautiful Yuletide, and any and all holiday traditions that are important to you!
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