Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seared duck breasts with balsamic vinegar, rosemary and shallot sauce

This is a perfect main course for a winter's night. The duck can be sealed off beforehand and returned to the oven when you are ready, remembering to allow for 10 minutes for the duck to relax after cooking. In my experience I have found that 6 largish duck breast will feed 8 people, as duck breasts are quite rich and meaty so a little goes a long way. 

Serves 6 -8

6 duck breasts

  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper
Balsamic, rosemary and shallot sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 shallots, finely sliced (if you are using larger shallots, such as banana shallots, then 3 will be plenty)
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 150ml/1/4 pint  red wine
  • 250ml/9 fl oz balsamic vinegar
  • 175ml/6 fl oz chicken stock
  • 1-2 tbsp fruit jelly, such as apple or redcurrant
  • 55g/generous 2 oz butter, chilled and diced
Pomegranate seeds to decorate (if available)

Preheat the oven to 190˚C/375˚F/Gas 5

Trim any excess fat from the duck breasts and score the skin with a sharp knife. Mix together the marinade ingredients, pour over the duck and leave for 1 hour.

Start the duck off on a heavy based cold pan over medium heat, skin side down, and brown well on both sides. Starting the duck off in a cold pan will help to render the fat and will crisp up the skin. (Don't throw away the duck fat, allow it to cool down and keep it in the fridge for the next time you are  roasting potatoes.)

Remove the duck from the pan, place in a roasting tray and roast in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until still pink.

Cover loosely with tin foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan.  Add the shallots and rosemary, cooking until caramelised, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and balsamic vinegar, bring to the boil and reduce to an eighth of its original volume.  Add the stock and reduce by half.  Whisk the chilled butter to thicken and enrich the sauce.

Serve the duck sliced on warm plates, with the sauce; sprinkle with some pomegranate seeds if wished.