Pan Seared Duck Breast with Black Currant Sauce
|Pan Seared Duck Breast with Black Currant Sauce |
A little slicing, dicing and spontaneous tangoing, even with the limitations of a dysfunctional kitchen, rarely fails to set a romantic tone and provide some laughs. This simple but exotic meal can be made together from start to finish in about 20 minutes.
2 6-oz. boneless duck breasts. (They may come as one butterflied breast. If so, slice down the middle to separate.) Most grocery stores now carry duck. However, the best ducks are Moscovi ducks, available from specialty butchers.
1 small shallot, minced
2 T Cassis (a French liqueur made from black currants)
4 T black currant jam (unsweetened if possible) or black cherry, boysenberry or other similar preserves
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) With the duck skin side up and using a sharp knife, score four 1/4 inch deep cuts across the skin at a 45 degree angle. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper over the meat side of each breast.
3) Heat a well-seasoned skillet or non-stick pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the breasts, skin side down, and cook four minutes or until skin is brown and crispy. Flip and cook for two more minutes.
4) Remove the pan from the heat (save the drippings) and transfer duck breasts, skin side up, to a cooking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake on the top rack of the oven for six minutes.
5) Carefully discard all but one tablespoon of duck drippings from the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and add the shallot. Stir occasionally for three minutes or until shallot begins to turn golden. Add the Cassis and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen up the browned bits left by the duck. Add the jam, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, stirring occasionally for three minutes. Remove from the heat.
6) Remove the duck from the oven, and slice each breast at a 45 degree angle into 1/4 inch thick strips (properly cooked duck should resemble medium-rare steak). Arrange in a fan-like pattern on warmed plates and spoon the black currant sauce over the top.
Spring Fever: Eight Steps to a Romantic Duck
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