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Duck Breast with Gingered Grape Sauce

Sara Moulton | Yield: 4
Sara Moulton pairs seared duck breast with a punchy pan sauce--a good dose of freshly grated ginger, rice vinegar and Dijon mustard--that cuts right through the rich, fatty duck meat.
Recipe Duck Breast with Gingered Grapes Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 package Pekin Duck Breasts, 2 whole breasts, split into 4 portions
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 3 large shallots, or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely grated (use a microplane)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon currant jelly

Preparation

  1. Score the duck skin in a crisscross pattern and season the duck with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the duck, skin side down, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, or until the skin is very crispy. Do not remove the fat as you go; the liquid fat in the pan helps to render out the fat in the skin.
  2. When the duck skin is crisp, remove the duck to a plate, pour off all except 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Reserve the extra fat for another use (such as sautéing potatoes). Turn the duck over and let it cook for 3 more minutes for medium rare. Transfer to a plate, skin side up and cover loosely with foil.
  3. Add the grapes, shallots, and fresh ginger to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and let it simmer until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock, mustard and jelly and simmer, whisking, until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add any juices that have accumulated on the duck plate and salt and pepper to taste. Slice the duck at an angle into 1/4-inch slices and serve each portion topped with some of the sauce.