Castillian Duck (Clemole Castellano)

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. oil
4 whole duck breasts, about 8 oz. each, cut in half
3/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
3 chiles anchos, seeds and membranes removed
3 chiles pasillas, seeds and membranes removed
1 Tbsp. chile seeds
3/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
6 cups duck or chicken stock
3 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
4 avocado leaves, toasted and crumbled
1/2 tsp. aniseed – lightly toasted
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts for garnish


Place the butter and oil onto a comal (or in a large heavy skillet) and warm over medium heat. Add the duck breasts and saute until half of the fat has been rendered, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove the duck from the comal and set aside.

Place the nuts, whole chiles, seeds and breadcrumbs on the comal with the duck fat and saute over medium heat until lightly browned.

Remove the ingredients from the comal and set aside to cool.

Place the cooled mixture into a food processor or blender and puree with enough of the stock to form a smooth sauce. Place back on the Comal.

Add the sugar, avocado leaves and aniseed, then simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from the comal and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the duck breasts back on the Comal over medium high heat and cook the skin side first until golden brown, then turn the breasts over and cook for another couple of minutes until the juices run clear.

To serve, place each breast on top of a small amount of the sauce and cover with more sauce, then garnish with the pine nuts.

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