A Tough One To Quack!

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Talk about intimidating! This week’s recipe was truly an adventure. I rarely eat duck so obviously, I’ve never cooked it. Honestly, I typically have only enjoyed the poultry at Chinese restaurants, so my knowledge is limited. Although it took me a while to muster up the courage to try it, I shocked myself with this delightful Pan Seared Duck Breast with Blackberry Bourbon Sauce! Preparing this dish was a challenge but the sheer sense of accomplishment was worth every hurdle along the way.

This interesting aspect of cooking duck I learned is that this is poultry but when you pan sear it, it’s cooked very similarly to a steak. Duck breasts are very large in comparison to chicken breasts and they have a very thick layer of fat on one side. After slicing through the fat in a tick tack toe pattern, you cook it off on one side. The duck grease left over in the pan is apparently gold in the cooking world so you want to make sure you keep it. I put mine in a mason jar. I’m not really sure what I’m going to use it for, but it’s in there! Stay tuned. After you flip the duck over on the opposite side to cooking, you allow it to rest under foil. Extremely similar to steak! My food thermometer was crucial, the internal temperature needs to reach 165. It took me a minute but we got there!

Another aspect that I struggle with is sauces. I just don’t have the patience to achieve the correct consistency at times. This blackberry bourbon sauce was no different. I was so puzzled as to why this sauce seemed so runny. I even added some corn starch to aid in the thickening process. In my frustration, I took the sauce off the stove and let it cool a bit. Well, it worked to my advantage. The sauce was thickened and a perfect compliment to the flavorful sliced duck breast. I impressed myself with this one and I’m almost ready to tackle this recipe again!

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

What You Need:DSC_0917

  • 2 – 12-16 ounce Magret Duck Breasts
  • 2 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup blackberry jam
  • 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions:
Click here to Cook With Me!

  • Pat the duck breasts dry. Score the fat on the top of each breast, cutting down to the flesh. Salt and pepper the breast liberally.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Place them in the skillet, fat side down, and render the fat for 10-12 minutes. A dark golden crust should form as the fat melts away.
  • Flip the breasts and cook another 8-10 minutes for medium cooked meat.
  • Remove from the pan and tent with foil.
  • Carefully pour the duck fat into a glass container to store for later use.
  • Raise the heat to medium, and add the shallots to the pan. Saute for 3-5 minutes to soften and brown.
  • Mix the flour into the blackberry jam. Then add the jam, bourbon, beef stock, red pepper, and thyme.
  • Stir and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Slice the duck breasts thin and top with blackberry pan sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Cook With Me:

  • Pat the duck breasts dry. Score the fat on the top of each breast, cutting down to the flesh. Salt and pepper the breast liberally.DSC_0918
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Place them in the skillet, fat side down, and render the fat for 10-12 minutes. A dark golden crust should form as the fat melts away.DSC_0920.JPG
  • Flip the breasts and cook another 8 to 10 minutes for medium cooked meat.DSC_0923.JPG
  • Remove from the pan and tent with foil.
  • Carefully pour the duck fat into a glass container to store for later use.
  • Raise the heat to medium, and add the shallots to the pan. Saute for 3-5 minutes to soften and brown.DSC_0930
  • Mix the flour into the blackberry jam. Then add the jam, bourbon, beef stock, red pepper, and thyme.
  • Stir and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.DSC_0938.JPG
  • Slice the duck breasts thin and top with blackberry pan sauce.
  • Serve and enjoy!DSC_0942

Inspired by this recipe.

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