~ From the Beatnik Gourmet
Serves 4 people
4 duck breasts
1/2 cup cherry preserves (preferably Bonne Maman)
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Pheasant Ridge Merlot
1 cup water
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. Chinese 5 Spice
2 tsp. granulated garlic
2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, rinsed & halved
2 cloves finely minced garlic
1/4 cup chicken broth
Rinse and thoroughly pat dry duck breasts. Score, with a pairing knife, the fat side of each breast. Combine dry seasoning to make spice rub and generously apply to each duck breast, especially the skin side. Preheat oven to 375°F.
Place duck breasts skin side down in a shallow sauté pan (do not use non-stick) on medium low temperature to begin rendering the duck fat and crisping the skin. Once the duck skin is crispy, turn breasts over and sear the bottom sides. Remove breasts from pan to a roasting rack and place in oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked medium rare (140°F internal temperature). Set aside all the rendered duck fat from sauté pan.
Deglaze sauté pan using Pheasant Ridge Merlot, scraping all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan. To the wine, add the cherry preserves, balsamic vinegar, freshly grated nutmeg and lemon zest. Simmer and reduce sauce for approximately 25 minutes, until it coats the back of a spoon.
While the duck is roasting and the sauce is reducing, in a separate sauté pan (and using the set aside duck fat), begin sautéing the Brussels sprouts at medium high heat and use enough fat to thoroughly coat all of the sprouts. Sauté thoroughly until the sprouts take on a slightly crisp and either browned or semi-charred appearance. Add fresh garlic and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Once the sprouts are crispy, reduce the heat to keep them warm and add a small amount of stock to keep the sprouts succulent and remove any charred bits.
Once the duck has reached medium rare, remove from oven and let set for five minutes. At the six minute mark, slice the duck against the grain on the bias into nice, uniform slices.
To serve, place an equal serving of sprouts in the center of each plate and fan out the slices of duck to where they are lightly resting on the sprouts. Drizzle the duck and the plate with the cherry-balsamic reduction. Chow time!