Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Seared Duck Breast with Earl Gray, Honey, and Orange Sauce
This is one of those recipes I bookmarked from Epicurious years ago and just recently got around to making. I liked it but am betting the sauce would be even better on chicken or pork as I think its subtle sweetness would compliment a less in-your-face meat. I subbed lavender honey for regular honey, and didn't bother using a sieve to make the sauce smooth. As I've said before, I'm a texture gal, and if I'm going through the trouble to saute onions for half an hour, I'd like the pleasure of eating them in the end. Also, by using tea bags instead of loose tea, you eliminate the need for straining the sauce anyway.
Finally - I normally brag that you can cook anything you love at home just as well as at a restaurant. This is equally true for duck but if you don't have a good hood vent/fan - don't bother. No one likes to smell like duck fat the following day... Restaurants, it seems, will always have a purpose.
I served this with baby brussels and baby yukon golds that were soaked in water for 30 minutes, drained and dried, and roasted in the oven (doused in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper) for 20 minutes per side. After they came out I tossed them with lemon zest and freshly minced parsley.
Seared Duck Breast with Orange, Earl Gray and Honey Sauce
* Adapted from Bon Appétit via Epicurious
* Serves 3-4, as long as you have ample sides.
2 boneless Muscovy duck breast halves (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
3/4 cup chopped shallots or sweet onion
sea salt and pepper, for seasoning
2 1/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 cups orange juice
5 Earl Grey tea bags, strings left on with just the end tags removed
1 tablespoon lavender honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Minced flat leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pierce skin of duck breasts all over with fork. Sprinkle duck with salt and pepper. Heat heavy large skillet over high heat. Add duck breasts, skin side down, to skillet. Reduce to medium heat and cook until skin is well browned, about 6 minutes. Turn duck breasts over; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Set rack in roasting pan. Transfer duck breasts to rack (reserve drippings in skillet). Roast duck to desired doneness, about 12-15 minutes for medium-rare. (I wouldn't go beyond 20 minutes or you'll have tough duck which might as well be tough shoe leather.) Remove from the oven and let rest, tented with foil, for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Tilt skillet; push shallots to higher end of skillet, allowing drippings to flow to lower end. Spoon off drippings and discard. Add broth, orange juice and tea bags to skillet. Boil until mixture is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 17 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags, pressing against the sides of the pan beforehand to release any juice. Add honey to the pan; bring to simmer. Whisk in butter until melted. Taste the sauce for balance and make any adjustments necessary with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice duck breasts crosswise. Fan slices on each of 4 plates, dividing equally. Spoon sauce around duck. Garnish with minced parsley, if desired.