Duck tagine with pears and cinnamon

Duck tagine with pears and cinnamon

Duck tagine with pears and cinnamon

This traditional tagine can be prepared with duck, chicken, poussin or quails. Variations of the recipe can include quince, plums, apples, cherries, and apricots. Serve the tagine with bread to mop up the syrupy juices or with Plain, Buttery Couscous.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus a knob of butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 25 g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 kg duck meat, from the thigh, breast or leg, off the bone and cut into bite-sized
  • pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3–4 tablespoons clear, runny honey
  • 3 pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 2–3 tablespoons orange flower water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1–2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • a few lemon balm leaves, to garnish (optional)
  • crusty bread or Plain, Buttery Couscous to serve.(optional)

Serves 4–6


Duck tagine with pears and cinnamon
Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or heavy-based saucepan. Add the onions and ginger and sauté until they begin to color, then add the cinnamon sticks and saffron. Toss in the duck meat, making sure it is well coated in the ginger and onions. Pour in roughly 600 ml water and bring it to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 40 minutes, until the duck is tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and stir in the honey. Toss in the peas and cook gently until they begin to caramelize. Add the pears to the duck with the orange flower water and cook the tagine for a further 10 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and scatter the roasted sesame seeds over the top. Garnish with the lemon balm leaves, if using, and serve with crusty bread or Plain, Buttery Couscous.