Thursday, January 1, 2015

Merlot Glazed Duck Breast

Cooking duck does not have to be so scary. I find many are intimidated by the process, yet when done correctly can be a simple alternative to any ones typical meal that elevates it an elegant dish. Whether a whole bird, breast or leg and thigh, duck is delicious and tender with a very mild game flavor that takes on seasoning and marinades extremely well.

For New Years Day I usually like to cook something special and this year I thought, enough with the seafood I'm going to do duck!  A merlot reduction with honey and sun dried cranberries, orange essence and garden rosemary, pan seared duck breast over a caramelized sweet onion risotto, roasted tomato and summer corn hash. Now doesn't that sound impressive! Hope you're willing to give it a try! I think you'll be happy with the results!

  • 1- 6 to 8 oz. duck breast
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 bottle merlot
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons local honey
  • 1 tablespoon grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon herb oil
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced small
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (if using frozen, defrost and drain well)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Over medium heat place merlot, cranberries, orange zest, honey, mustard and balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and reduce until syrup like. 
When the wine has been reduced by half BE CAREFUL the rest of the way! 
The reduction will burn easily if you take your eyes off of it!
Trim fat around duck breast slightly, score and
season well with salt, pepper & dried rosemary.
Pre-heat non stick sauté pan over medium-low heat for three minutes.
Place duck skin side down in pan and slowly render out  the duck fat until caramelized. (You will need to pour out the rendered fat from the pan about three times. 
Reserve in bowl.)
Once duck skin is caramelized and the fat has been rendered most of the way, flip over breast and sear on opposite side for 2 minutes.  Place in baking pan.
Cook duck breast in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes-15 minutes or until 145 degrees internal temperature.  This will give you a perfectly rare to med-rare duck. 
Cook longer if desired, medium is recommended at 155 degrees.
Let duck breast rest for 3 minutes before slicing. 
While the duck is being seared, start working on your risotto. 
The whole dinner will only table about 45 minutes to cook with minimal prep time.

Sweat onions in herb oil and 1 tablespoon of reserved duck fat, adding in garlic, tomatoes and corn.  Warm through for one minute and add rice. 
Adding one cup stock at a time, in three parts cook until aldente and all liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Turn off heat and finish with parmesan cheese. 
Place slided duck over risotto and glaze with reduction, serving extra on the side. 

Bon Appetite!!

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