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La Belle Cuisine - More Poultry Recipes

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Breast of Duck with Port Sauce



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La Belle Cuisine


Breast of Duck with Port Sauce
Gourmet October 1991

For the marinade
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons grated
fresh gingerroot
1/4 cup olive oil

Two 2-pound whole boneless
duck breasts with skin*
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
3/4 cup beef broth [or stock]
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Tawny Port
Beurre maniť made by kneading together
3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Dried Cherry and Shallot Confit as
an accompaniment (below)

*Whole boneless duck breasts are available at many
butcher shops and specialty foods shops.

Make the marinade: In a bowl whisk together the wine, the vinegar, the
soy sauce, the lemon juice, the garlic, the gingerroot, the oil and salt and
pepper to taste.
Put the duck breasts in a large resealable plastic bag, pour the marinade over them, and seal the bag. Put the plastic bag in a large bowl and let the duck marinate, chilled, overnight. Remove the duck from the marinade and pat it dry between layers of paper towels. Score the skin of each duck breast in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife and sprinkle both sides of the duck
with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 2 heavy skillets over moderately high
heat until they are hot and in each skillet cook 1 of the duck breasts, skin
side down, for 10 minutes. Turn the duck and cook it for 2 minutes more,
transfer the skillets to the middle of a preheated 450-degree F. oven (wrap
the skillet handles with a double thickness of foil if the handles are not
ovenproof), and roast the duck for 5 to 7 minutes, or until a meat thermo- meter registers 145 to 150 degrees F. for medium meat.
While the duck is roasting, in a small heavy saucepan combine the sugar
and the water, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dis-
solved, and boil it, swirling the pan, until the mixture is a golden caramel.
Add the vinegars carefully, swirling the pan until the caramel is dissolved,
and reserve the mixture.
Transfer the duck to a cutting board and let it stand, covered loosely with
foil, for 5 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from 1 of the skillets and in the fat remaining in the skillet cook the shallot and the garlic over moderately low heat, stirring, until the shallot is softened. Add the dry red wine and boil the mixture until it is reduced by half. Add the broth, boil the mixture until it is reduced by one third, and pour the mixture through a fine sieve set over the reserved vinegar mixture, pressing hard on the solids. Whisk in the cream and the Port, simmer the mixture for 1 minute, and add the beurre maniť, a little at a time, whisking until the sauce is smooth. Sim-mer the sauce, whisking occasionally, for 2 minutes, whisk into the sauce
any juices that have accumulated on the cutting board, and season the
sauce with salt and pepper.
Cut the duck diagonally across the grain into thin slices, divide the duck
slices among 8 plates, and spoon the sauce over the duck. Serve the duck
with the dried cherry and shallot confit. Serves 8.


Dried Cherry and Shallot Confit

1 1/2 cups dried sour cherries*
(about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups thinly sliced shallot
(about 1/2 pound)
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar

*Dried sour cherries are available at many specialty foods shops.

In a bowl let the cherries soak in the vinegars for 30 minutes. While the cherries are soaking, in a heavy skillet cook the shallot and the onion in the butter, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the shallot is soft. Sprinkle mixture with the sugar and
cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the cherries with the soaking liquid, simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 10
to 15 minutes, or until almost all the liquid is evaporated, and season the
confit with salt and pepper. The confit may be made 1 day in advance,
kept covered and chilled, and reheated. Makes about 2 cups.

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