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Mole de Pato with Pastellitos

Akhtar Nawab | Yield: 2
Chef Akhtar Nawab serves our Rohan duck breast with a rich, pumpkin seed mole sauce and arepa dumplings, at his popular New York City restaurant, La Esquina.
Recipe - Mole de Pato with Pastellitos - Duck – Dartagnan.com

Ingredients

FOR THE CURE

  • 1 D'Artagnan Rohan Duck , trimmed into 2 breasts (reserve legs for another use)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chile piquin

FOR THE PEPITA MOLE

  • 5 medium dried ancho chile peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 4 ounces firm white bread, torn into pieces
  • 4 pieces canned chipotle chiles en adobo
  • 4 pieces whole allspice
  • 1 stick canela
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pieces Ibarra Mexican table chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

FOR THE AREPA DUMPLINGS

  • 5 ounces milk
  • 1 ounce queso supremo
  • 5 ounces masa arepa
  • 1 ounce butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ounces flour

 

Preparation

  1. For the cure: In a non-reactive baking pan, mix together sugar, salt, thyme and chile piquin. Add duck breasts, flesh side down. Cure in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. For the mole: Toast the ancho chiles in a large pot over low flame. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic and tomatoes. Cook until soft. Add the bread, canela, bay, chipotle and roasted pumpkin seeds. Continue to cook, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in red wine, cook for a few minutes, then add chicken stock, Ibarra chocolate and cocoa powder. Simmer for 1 hour.
  4. After an hour of cooking, remove bay leaf, discard. Using a stick blender or food processor, puree the sauce until smooth. Pass pureed sauce through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.
  5. Return strained mole sauce to a clean pot. Add cider vinegar, whisking to combine. Keep warm.
  6. For the dumplings: In a small pot, over medium flame, bring milk and butter to a low boil. Add in masa arepa. With a wooden spoon, stir until dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball. Beat in eggs until combined. Slowly add in flour. Do not overwork. Roll spoonfulls of dough into dumpling shapes.
  7. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a low boil. Carefully drop in dumplings, (like gnocchi) poach until dumplings float. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside.
  8. After the duck breasts have cured, rinse the cure off of them under cool running water and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Score the duck skin in a crosshatch pattern. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high flame until very hot. Sear the breasts, skin side down, until fat renders out and skin is evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn breasts over, reduce flame to medium and cook until medium-rare, about 5 minutes more. Rest duck breasts on a cutting board.
  9. While duck is resting, finish the dumplings. Melt a knob of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high flame. Saute the dumplings until golden brown.
  10. Plate each duck breast with a portion of dumplings and finish with warmed mole sauce.