Roast Duck And Fresh Figs Make For A Uniquely Sweet And Bold Pairing

whole roasted duck with figs
whole roasted duck with figs - Ausrine Zygaityte/Tasting Table

Roasted duck is one of those dishes that flawlessly tip-toes between the lines of fine dining and comfort. You can find it shining front and center at holiday parties and fancy feasts, but in humble family dinners, it works just as well as a cozy main course. This is partly due to its versatility and ability to pair well with almost anything. Sweet accompaniments are particularly successful with the richness of duck. And if there's one ingredient you should try for just that boldly sweet extravagance, it's fresh figs. This is aptly demonstrated by recipe developer Ausrine Zygaityte's crispy roast duck recipe, which incorporates fig and pear stuffing, as well as roasted fig halves.

These deep-hued palm-sized fruits hold a world of flavors in them. The sweetness of figs is intricately layered with honey and berry notes, made more enticing by the unusual yet soft texture. This vibrancy may seem like an off-kilter contrast against the roasted duck at first, but it turns out to be surprisingly complementary. The deep sweetness delicately wraps around the meat's gamey, umami taste, highlighting hidden depths. It also comes with an air of sophistication matched with a sense of rustic Mediterranean meals, perhaps eaten under the tree the figs were grown on.

Read more: Restaurant Foods That Always Taste Better Than What You Make At Home

Fresh Figs And Roasted Ducks, How Does It Work?

roasted duck and figs dinner
roasted duck and figs dinner - Ausrine Zygaityte/Tasting Table

When added to roasted duck dishes, figs can come in many forms. A foolproof one you can count on is a sauce. A simmered mixture of figs, sugar, spices, herbs, and other condiments, perhaps including an acid, like balsamic vinegar, it's rich both in flavor and jammy texture. You can even add a few more fruits like pomegranate or cranberry to amp it up even further with a hint of fruit acidity. It gives the meat a beautiful decadence, starting from the glossy exterior and extending into the succulent, juicy meat inside.

If sauces somehow seem too familiar, there are other similar options that you can go for. A gorgeous glaze on roasted meat is never redundant. Just think of aromatic crispy duck. For an emphasis on figs' bold, hypnotizing sweetness, you can whip up a jar of jam or compote. A quick caramelization of fruit in a pan will also do the trick.

A little less conventional is fig confit. For those unfamiliar, confit is a French cooking method that involves slow-cooking food in a liquid at a low temperature. Meat and vegetables are often submerged in fat, but fruits work better with syrup. Many also like to add herbs and spices for more complexity. The figs become extra sweet and supple this way, with a subtle aroma slow-dancing in the back. Spread onto the roasted duck meat after cooking, it strikes the perfect contrast with the crispy, savory skin.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.