I finally liberated the duck breasts from the freezer and searched for recipes, after my son had asked numerous times to try it. I attempted two different methods, and although both gave directions to pan sear the breasts in a skillet, the sauces were quite different and both immensely delicious – complimenting the moist, crispy duck perfectly.
BLACK CURRANT LACQUERED DUCK BREAST
1 duck breast
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons grated ginger root
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup black currant jam
3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Heat oven to 375F. Score the fat side of duck breast in a crosshatch pattern. Season well with salt and pepper, then place in an oven safe skillet, skin side down. Place the pan over medium heat, cook for about 8 minutes or until much of the fat has rendered and the skin is crisp and brown.
Turn over the duck breast, transfer the pan to the oven, cook for 6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 to 160F. Transfer the duck to a plate to rest while you make the sauce, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the duck fat.
Return the pan to the stove over medium heat. Stir in the shallot, cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, then add the ginger, honey, black currant jam and apple cider vinegar. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to a bubbling, syrupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Return the duck breast to the pan, skin side down, over medium-low heat. Brush the sauce over the breast to coat evenly. Turn the duck breast skin side up, spoon sauce over the top for about 30 seconds, then remove from the heat. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pan before slicing. Serve with remaining sauce.
Recipe adapted from The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 2016
DUCK A L’ORANGE
although I neglected to photograph the sauce, it was delicious and well worth the effort
2 duck breasts
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Score a diamond pattern in the skin of each duck breast. Sprinkle with salt, let stand for 15 minutes.
Combine the orange juice, chicken broth and sherry vinegar in a medium bowl. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, cook, without stirring, until liquid turns a golden amber color, about 5 minutes. Stir in juice mixture, stir until hardened sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, cook until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in orange rind.
Place duck breasts, skin side down, in a large skillet. Place pan over medium heat, cook 10 minutes or until skin is golden brown, occasionally pouring off excess fat. Flip breasts, cook 4 minutes for medium or until desired degree of doneness. Place breasts on a cutting board.
Pour off fat from pan, place pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, cook 45 seconds, stirring frequently. Add orange liqueur, cook 15 seconds or until liquid nearly evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in juice mixture. Bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove pan from heat, add butter, stirring until butter melts.
Cut duck breasts across the grain, serve with sauce.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, December 2015