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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seared duck breast in red wine reduction

Did I ever tell you I was dyslexic? ... Uh, yeah that's why the fork and knife are on the wrong sides of my plate ... yeah, that's it ... (tho I really am slightly dyslexic)

Seared Duck Breast is one of those foods I always ordered at restaurants because I thought it was something I could never make myself at home. And then I found out, its pretty damn simple to make. Living in New York City makes it pretty easy to find also. Its always available at Fairway. I'm pretty sure I've seen it at Westside Market. And it is definitely available at the high end supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Citarella. And although duck breast is a bit pricey, about $10 a pound, its also rich that one duck breast can feed two in entree size portions, or 4 people when using it as an appetizer. It goes great with our favorite red wine, Malbec.

My recipe is a combination of two recipe: this recipe from Just Hungry and another one from Epicurious.

Seared Duck Breast with Red Wine Reduction

Duck Breast, appx 1 lb

Red wine reduction:
1/2 c Red wine
1/4 c Balsamic vinegar
1/2 c Chicken Broth
2 T Soy sauce
Handful of dried fruit*
Cinnamon stick

In a small saucepan, add all ingredients for the and simmer on medium until the dried fruit is plump and the sauce is slightly reduced.**

Score the fat on the duck breast in a diamond shaped pattern. On a saute pan over medium heat, cook the duck until alot of the fat is rendered and the top of the duck has a crispy skin. Turn over the duck and allow the non-fatty side sear for about a minute. Remove the duck from the pan. Dump the fat into a bowl to either keep for another purpose (for example duck fat fried potatoes) or to throw out later once its solidified again. No need to wipe the pan after, a little duck fat left will flavor the sauce. Add the red wine reduction to the still warm pan over medium heat and add the duck breast fatty side up. The sauce should simmer over the heat. Allow the duck to cook about 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Simply recipes has a great guide on how to check the doneness of meat. Place duck and sauce into a bowl and cover with foil. Allow the meat to rest for 10-30 minutes before cutting. Thinly slice the duck and serve with the red wine reduction sauce.

* I've tried using figs, dried cranberries, or currents for the dried fruit. All came out equally well. You can probably also use dried cherries or raisins. Please let me know if you discover a dried fruit that works really well other than what I mentioned above.
** Its funny, the first time I made this sauce before eating the duck, I thought it tasted gross, but it pairs well with the duck or maybe the duck fat! So well that my friend doesn't care much for duck, but kept basically drinking ... uh, i mean using bread to soak up as much sauce possible.


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