Have your sheet pans and casserole dishes collected dust yet? It’s been a long, hot summer, but I can feel my palate and my cooking instincts starting to make that transition to fall, especially with this rain we’ve been having.
In the past few years, we’ve seen a number of sheet pan supper cookbooks, which help cooks get dinner on the table with recipes that call for cooking everything in a single dish or baking sheet. Rukmini Iyer’s “Dinner’s in the Oven: Simple One-Pan Meals” (Chronicle Books, $19.95) is a somewhat sophisticated spin on this concept with ingredients such as spelt and halloumi that you might not be able to find at everyday grocery stores just yet.
This five-spice duck dish is notable because the rice is baked in the same pan as the poultry and the kale. You could use any large-diced vegetable in this dish, and chicken or pork is a fine substitute if you can’t find duck. I usually roast vegetables at a much higher temperature than 350 degrees, but the lower temperature in this recipe ensures even cooking and, if you’re lucky, slightly crispy rice along the edge of the pan.
Five-Spice Duck Breasts with Wild Rice, Kale and Ginger
This incredibly satisfying duck and wild rice dish, with its contrast of complementary textures and flavors, is easily scaled up if you’re cooking for more than two. If you don’t like duck, chicken breasts or pork loin work well, too.
— Rukmini Iyer
1 cup mixed basmati and wild rice
1 1/2 cups water
2 inches ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, whole
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 star anise
1/2 bunch kale, destemmed, and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 duck breasts (about 3/4 pound each)
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 fresh red chile, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the rice, water, ginger, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt in a roasting pan or large baking dish, and throw in the star anise. Mix the kale with the sesame oil, then scatter it over the rice.
Slash the skin on the duck breasts with a sharp knife, then rub them all over with the remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt and the five-spice powder. Place on top of the kale, cover the roasting pan tightly with foil, then transfer to the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
Remove the foil and cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes, to allow the kale to crisp up. Allow the duck breasts to rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice and return the breasts to the roasting pan. Scatter over the red chile and scallions and serve. Serves 2.
— From “Dinner’s in the Oven: Simple One-Pan Meals” by Rukmini Iyer (Chronicle Books, $19.95)