Holiday Recipe

Roast Wild Duck Breasts with Pomegranate-Chile Sauce

You can make this sauce and serve it with any roasted bird. Please make sure it is organic, and humanely raised, or wild. Delicious served with mashed potatoes.

ingredients

Sauce:

1/3 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup water

2 cups plain, unsweetened pomegranate juice (such as Pom)

2 cups low-salt chicken broth

4 large dried California chiles,* stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo** (very hot, optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (not toasted)

Mineral salt and white pepper to taste

Duck:

8 5-to 6-ounce boneless duck breast halves, skin and fat trimmed to size of breast

Coarse kosher salt

Ground coriander seed

Fresh pomegranate seed

preparation

For sauce:
Stir raw sugar and 1/2 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil until syrup is deep amber color, swirling pan occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add juice, broth, and California chiles. Boil until sauce is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool. Puree in tightly covered blender until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Whisk in adobo sauce, vinegar, and cumin. Season to taste with generous amount of coarse salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over low heat before using.

For duck:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Score skin of duck (don’t cut into flesh) with 5 cuts in 1 direction; repeat in opposite direction, making diamond pattern. Sprinkle duck all over with coarse salt, pepper, and ground coriander. Place 2 large ovenproof skillets over medium-high heat. Add duck, skin side down, to skillets, dividing equally. Cook duck until skin is crisp and deep brown, about 7 minutes. Turn duck over; cook 1 minute. Pour off fat. Transfer skillets to oven. Roast duck until cooked to medium rare, about 5 minutes.

Transfer duck to cutting board. Let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice each breast crosswise on slight diagonal. Arrange slices on plates. Spoon sauce over. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

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