Pan-Roasted Duck Breasts recipe (Poultry)
Heat the oven to 425° F. Rinse the duck breasts and pat dry. Trim any silverskin from the meat side of the breasts. Scrape the tendon out of the tender, and pat the tender back in place. Trim the edges of the skin so there's about ¼ inch overhang. With a sharp knife, score the skin in a ½-inch crosshatch pattern. Try to cut only through the skin and not into the meat. Season the breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Put the duck in the pan, skin side down, and let it sear. As fat collects in the pan, spoon it off once or twice. When the skin turns medium brown, after 6 minutes, reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook another 2 to 4 minutes.
Flip the breasts skin side up, spoon off any remaining fat, and put the pan in the oven. Roast until the duck is cooked to your liking: 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare and 5 to 6 minutes for medium well.
Transfer the duck to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Set the pan on medium-high heat and pour in the sherry and sherry vinegar. Immediately scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to release any cooked-on bits. Boil until the liquid has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, honey, thyme, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Boil until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and blend the butter into the sauce by constantly stirring. Slice the duck thinly on an angle, arrange it on heated plates, and spoon the sauce over or around it. Serve right away.
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